The Media Martyrs in Russia’s War on Ukraine: Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Some Wear Press Passes

Shireen Abu Akleh, Al-Jazeera journalist who was killed in Jenin, Palestine. (

On Wednesday, May 11th 2022, the world was shocked by the shocking news of the Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh. She was shot dead by Israeli forces while covering army attacks in Jenin. The longtime correspondent for Al-Jazeera was announced dead briefly after she was rushed to the hospital.

“Shireen was our voice. It is unbelievable,” said a Palestinian politician, Khalida Jarrar.

Regrettably, Shireen is not the first journalist who passed away while working as a journalist this year. As everyone knows, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th of 2022, a shockwave that traveled around the whole world. During the invasion, journalists from various media certainly need to cover the global issue. Unfortunately, a number of journalists have been killed ever since. 

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there are at least 7 journalists we have lost during the invasion.

  1. Oksana Baulina, a Russian journalist

Oksana Baulina, a Russian journalist who was killed from Russian shelling. (Oksana Baulina/Reuters)

Russian journalist Oksana Baulina was shot while filming the destruction from Russian shelling of a district in Kyiv on March 23rd 2022, said an adviser to Ukraine’s minister. She had been covering the war for an investigative Russian news site, Russia Insider, which later reported her death.

The adviser of Russia Insider, Herashchenko portrayed Baulina as an “anti-Putin journalist” and described her death as a tragedy.

“She just wanted as a journalist to document for her audience, for her readers,” he continued.

  1. Vira Hyrych, a Ukrainian journalist
Vira Hyrych, a Ukrainian journalist who was killed in a missile attack. (RFE/RL)

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) declared Vira Hyrych, their journalist at the outlet’s Ukrainian-language service, was killed in a missile attack in Kyiv, on April 28th. Her body was found under the remains of a building, it said the following day.

RFE/RL said the Ukrainian journalist worked for the news service, Radio Svoboda, since February 2018. The editorial staff at the news service promised in a statement to always “remember her as a bright and kind person, a true professional.” A colleague described her as “patient, diligent, kind, and dedicated.”

  1. Brent Renaud
Brent Renaud, an American journalist. (IFJ)

Under the organization Time, Brent Renaud, a journalist and award-winning filmmaker was killed while covering the Russian-Ukraine war. According to police, the American journalist was killed in crossfire near the Russian checkpoint in Kyiv on March 13th 2022.

His friends and colleagues said he was a fearless and sensitive reporter, who traveled to dangerous places to find valuable and untold stories. The death of such a talented reporter is a “loss to the entire world,” according to Lofton, who co-founded the film company Mudroom. 

  1. Yevhenii Sakun
Yevhenii Sakun’s press pass. (

On March 1st 2022, Yevhenii Sakun, a correspondent and camera operator for the Ukrainian television channel LIVE, was killed during the shelling of the TV transmission tower in Kyiv on March 1st. 

When the missile hit the building, Sakun was working with his colleagues in the building when the missile hit there. His body was identified by his press pass only. He was killed along with four other people, according to reports.

  1. Viktor Dudar
Viktor Dudar, a Lviv journalist. (Twitter/@KyivPost)

Viktor Dudar, 44, a journalist from the Lviv region was shot in Mykolaiv, on March 4th 2022.

Dudar went to the military registration office to defend Ukraine as a member of the Armed Forces on the first day of  full-scale war, February 24th 2022.

He was a crime correspondent for Ukraine’s newspaper, Express. Later on, he volunteered for the 2014-2015 war in the eastern Donbas region.

After returning from the war, the Ukrainian journalist took the paper’s defense correspondent position.

  1. Oleksandra Kuvshynova
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, a journalist for Fox News. (Lucas Tomlinson)

Oleksandra Kuvshynova, an Ukrainian journalist and producer in Fox News was killed in a crossfire on March 14th, 2022, in Horenka, outside of Kyiv. 

According to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, Kuvshynova was helping the crews navigate around Kyiv while at the same time gathering information and talking to sources. 

She passed away at 24 years old and was serving as a consultant as well in Fox News. 

  1. Maks Levin
Maks Levin, an Ukrainian photojournalist. (CPJ)

According to independent news website, Maks Levin was found dead on April 1st 2022 in Ukraine. Died at 40, he was a freelance photojournalist and filmmaker. 

As stated by, where Levin worked for more than a decade. He had covered Russia-Ukraine issues since 2014 and also worked for media outlets, such as TRT World, BBC, Reuters, and The Associated Press.

After a long search, police found Levin’s body near the village of Huta-Mezhyhirska, Kyiv region. As CPJ documented, Levin has been missing since March 13rd. On that day, Levin intended to cover Russian forces’ invasion.

In truth, this list would have consisted of many more journalists that have died doing their field of work. Their stories are there to tell us that not all heroes wear capes, some wear press passes. 

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph, and the signs of horror are still in the air.” — Henry Anatole Grunwald

Penulis: Chelsea Anastasia

Reporter: Chelsea Anastasia

Editor: Fareez Eldacca

Foto: CPJ, Twitter,, IFJ, RFE/RL, CNN, Reuters

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