Chebotayev was the first Russian journalist to be killed in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003. A freelance photographer embedded with U.S. forces, Chebotayev was killed along with six American soldiers when a roadside bomb struck a U.S. military vehicle in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.
Chebotayev was on assignment for the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine, reporting on the efforts of U.S. forces to control roads in Diyala province, Leonid Parfyonov, the edition editor, told CPJ. Chebotayev, 29, had freelanced for several news agencies, including the German-based European Pressphoto Agency and the independent Moscow daily Kommersant. He had been in Iraq for more than two months.