A camera crew of one of Russia's major TV and radio corporations, VGTRK (All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) came under mortar attack near Luhansk. Special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk was wounded and subsequently died at hospital. The fate of engineer Anton Voloshin remains unknown. Cameraman Viktor Denisov was not hurt during the attack.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: It has just been reported that VGTRK sound engineer Anton Voloshin, who went missing in the mortar attack, has died as well.
The members of the VGTRK crew came under mortar fire as they were working at a militia checkpoint in the village of Metallist. The journalists came there to make a report about refugees from the village of Schastye (Happiness). During the attack, the cameraman was a few hundred meters from his colleagues.
"A militiaman went to the refugees, - says Viktor Denisov. - I was filming all that on camera. When the man raised his hand signaling the refugees to get down on the ground, a mine exploded. The mine blew up near the militiaman."
The taxi driver, who took the crew to the site of their work, eye-witnessed the explosion. "There were two mortar strikes, - he says. - Right in the place, where the people were. There was a bright flash."
"Filming the refugees and helping them, I came out of the zone of fire. - continues the cameraman. - We were walking along the road, for about one kilometer, and came to an absolutely different side of the area, because it was very dangerous to get to our guys. Mines were exploding on the road all the time."
The wounded journalist, Igor Kornelyuk, was rushed to a local hospital and then to the central hospital of Luhansk. According to most recent reports, the reporter died on the operating table. Anton Voloshin is considered missing.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that it is those, who call themselves the authorities of Ukraine, are responsible for the death of the Russian journalist. The head of government expressed condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased.
"The profession of a journalist is dangerous. - But when some reporters are killed in mortar fire, and the fate of others remains unknown, there are people who are guilty of this tragedy. Those who call themselves the authorities are responsible for the situation in neighboring Ukraine meet those who call themselves by the authorities, and it is up to them to stop the bloodshed," Medvedev wrote.
In late March, Russia sent to Italy a group of epidemiologists and specialists from radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Defense Ministry to help disinfect medical facilities in Italy