A Sky News crew have accused a Russian squad of firing at them – after the Ukrainian forces told the reporters so
A serviceman of the militia of yje Donetsk People’s Republic patrolling the streets in the village of Rybinskoye. © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
British prime minister Boris Johnson has commended the bravery of Sky News journalists, who were shot near the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Monday. The TV crew thought they had been attacked by a Ukrainian army checkpoint. But local forces told them later a “saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad” was to blame for the shooting.
Chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay was shot in the lower back, while videographer Richie Mockler was struck by two rounds into his body armor after their car stopped due to a burst tier. Despite being hit, Ramsay, Mockler and the rest of their crew managed to flee the scene. Both are now back in the UK. “Free press will not be intimidated or cowed by barbaric and indiscriminate acts of violence,” Johnson tweeted in the wake of the incident.
The courage of the media workers was “astonishing,” he wrote, adding that they were “risking their lives to ensure that the truth is told.”
The crew said they had managed to flee the shooting and hours later had been rescued by the Ukrainian police. “We didn’t know it at the time, but we were later told by the Ukrainians that we were being ambushed by a saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad. It was professional, the rounds kept smashing into the car – they didn’t miss,” Ramsay said. No other information about the attackers was made available.