Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sky News Team Ambushed by Russian Forces While Covering Ukraine War

Sat 05 Mar 2022 | 11:24 PM
Ahmad El-Assasy

While reporting in Ukraine, a Sky News journalist was wounded in a Russian ambush, with his camera operator taking two shots to the body armour.

On Monday, Sky News chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay and his team were in a car outside Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, when they were ambushed. Despite not knowing who attacked them at the time, Ramsay later learned from the Ukrainians that they had been ambushed by a sabotage Russian reconnaissance group.

"The first shot shattered the windshield. Richie Mockler, the camera operator, hid in the front passenger footwell. Then there was a full-fledged assault on us. Tracers, bullet flashes, windscreen glass, plastic seats, the steering wheel, and the dashboard had all crumbled as a result of the bullets,” Ramsay wrote about the incident on Sky News.

Producer Martin Vowles and local producer Andrii Lytvynenko exited the vehicle promptly, while Richie, Ramsay, and his producer Dominique Van Heerden stayed inside.

The Sky News team began screaming that they were journalists, assuming they were being attacked by mistake. The shots, however, "kept coming" and the incoming fire was "severe." Dominique was the first of the three people still inside the automobile to exit, reaching the bottom of an embankment.

Ramsay, on the other hand, was struck in the lower back. "It seemed weird, but I was at ease." I had my helmet on and was about to flee when I came to a halt and, unbelievably, reached back into a shelf in the entryway and retrieved my phones and press card."

Ramsay then dashed towards the embankment, plunging to his death with his face cut. Richie was not far behind. The squad reunited at the bottom and dashed towards a factory, where three caretakers welcomed them inside.

The Sky News team were ultimately rescued by Ukrainian police, who drove them away from the danger zone in a police vehicle. The crew arrived in Kyiv's city centre a day later.

Other journalists have been attacked while reporting from crisis zones. Two Danish journalists were attacked earlier near the eastern Ukrainian town of Okhtyrka. Despite wearing bulletproof vests, both received gunshot wounds. They were transported to a hospital before being flown out of the country.

In a news statement, Anthony Bellanger, the General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), said, "As the magnitude and cruelty of Russia's war in Ukraine develops, it is becoming increasingly dangerous for journalists to cover the fight securely."

"We urge the world community and Unesco to do all possible to ensure the safety of on-the-ground journalists."