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Russian reporter killed in Kyiv shelling is fifth journalist to die in conflict

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Russian reporter killed in Kyiv shelling is fifth journalist to die in conflict

A Russian reporter has died after coming under Russian shelling while she filmed destruction at a shopping centre in Kyiv, becoming at least the fifth journalist to a month since Moscow’s invasion on 24 February.

Oksana Baulina, who previously also worked for the Russian opposition leader Alexander Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, was killed alongside another civilian on Wednesday while reporting for the independent Russian news website the Insider.

Two other people in the group were wounded in the attack which took place in the Podolsky district of Kyiv, the outlet reported.

“The Insider expresses its deepest condolences to Oksana’s family and friends,” it said.

The publication added: “We will continue to cover the war in Ukraine, including such Russian war crimes as indiscriminate shelling of residential areas which result in the deaths of civilians and journalists.”

Baulina, 42, began her career working for lifestyle magazines including Time Out Moscow and In Style, but after a decade she shifted to more political work, becoming a producer for Alexander Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

She was briefly jailed when Russian police stormed the group’s headquarters where she was coordinating a live broadcast from a national rally.

Baulina left Russia after authorities declared the Anti-Corruption Foundation an “extremist organization” in 2021 but she continued to report for the Insider and Coda Story.

After Russia invaded Ukraine a month ago, Baulina filed several reports from Kyiv and Lviv in western Ukraine for the Insider.

Sergiy Tomilenko, head of the Ukranian journalists’ union, confirmed the death in a statement on Facebook, saying that Baulina was reporting on the aftermath of a shelling when she was hit by fresh fire.

Alexey Kovalev, the investigations editor at the Latvian-based Russian news website Meduza, paid tribute to Baulina’s “phenomenal sense of moral clarity”.

“Oksana ditched a successful career in glossy magazines (I first met her at Time Out Moscow in 2006 where she edited the fashion section) to become an opposition activist, human rights campaigner and then full time reporter. Arrested several times, her org declared ‘extremist’,” he tweeted.

Anastasia Karimova, a program director at Foundation for Democratic Development in Washington, tweeted: “The Russian army has killed one of Russia’s best people.”

Vladimir Milov, who worked with her at Navalny’s group, vowed to avenge her.

“I will never forget her and to all those who are responsible for her death I promise that they won’t get away with (only) a trial and a verdict,” Milov said on Twitter.

“What an unbelievable horror,” wrote Lyubov Sobol, another prominent member of Navalny’s team.

At least four other reporters have been killed during the conflict: Brent Renaud, an American film-maker, Evgeny Sakun, a cameraman with Kyiv Live TV, Irish cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski and Ukrainian producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova. Television news crews have described being shot at even when they have identified themselves as journalists, prompting speculation that they were targeted on purpose.

A cameraman for a local television station in the besieged southern city of Mariupol was reported to have been killed earlier on Wednesday.

Source – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/23/russian-reporter-killed-in-kyiv-shelling-oksana-baulina

Written by – Rachel Hall

Image Credit – Pavel Golovkin/AP

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