Alexander Klimchuk, 27, and Grigol Chikhladze, 30, were killed in
Russian press reports said Klimchuk, head of the Tbilisi-based Caucasus Images photo agency, was on assignment for the Russian news service Itar-Tass. Chikhladze, a freelancer and member of Caucasus Images, was covering the conflict for Russian Newsweek. The two journalists had freelanced for a number of Russian and international news agencies.
The Russian business daily Kommersant, citing information from Caucasus Images, said the journalists were killed by South Ossetian militia. Kommersant reported that Klimchuk, Chikhladze, and two other reporters--U.S. journalist Winston Featherly and Georgian colleague Temuri Kiguradze of the Tbilisi-based, English-language newspaper The Messenger--were trying to avoid a roadblock set up by South Ossetian militia when they saw a group of armed men.
The journalists reportedly could not identify whether the armed men were Georgian soldiers or South Ossetian militiamen because it was dark. Klimchuk greeted them in Georgian and the armed men started shooting, Kommersant reported. Klimchuk and Chikhladze died at the scene, while Featherly and Kiguradze were wounded and hospitalized.