British journalists praised by PM as one-sided evidence suggests they were beaten by Russians in Kyiv – Reuters

A Sky News team have accused a Russian team of shooting at them – after Ukrainian forces told reporters

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed the bravery of Sky News journalists, who were gunned down near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Monday. The television crew believed they had been attacked by a Ukrainian army checkpoint. But local forces later told them that a “Russian saboteur reconnaissance squadron” was responsible for the shooting.

Chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay was shot in the lower back, while videographer Richie Mockler was hit by two bullets in his body armor after their car came to a halt due to a burst level. Although they were hit, Ramsay, Mockler and the rest of their crew managed to flee the scene. Both are now back in the UK. “The free press will not be intimidated or intimidated by barbaric and indiscriminate acts of violence”, Johnson tweeted following the incident.

The courage of media workers was “amazing,” he wrote, adding that they were “risking their lives to make sure the truth is told.”

The crew said they managed to flee the shooting and hours later were rescued by Ukrainian police. “We didn’t know it at the time, but the Ukrainians told us later that we were ambushed by a sabotaging Russian reconnaissance squad. It was professional, the bullets kept crashing into the car – they didn’t miss,” said Ramsay. No other information about the attackers was made available.

Ramsay went even further, insisting that “Thousands of Ukrainians are dying and families are being targeted by Russian commandos just like us, driving into a family living room and attacked.” The journalist did not provide any evidence to support this claim.

Russian troops were sent to Ukraine last Thursday to “denazify” and “demilitarize” the Kiev government, which – according to Moscow – is perpetrating “genocide” in the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine has denied the charges, saying it was under an unprovoked attack from the neighbour.

Russia blamed the West for carrying out a “information warfare” against him amid the conflict and responded by blocking Facebook, Twitter and some foreign-funded media. The country has also passed a law that makes the deliberate spread of “fake news” about the Russian army liable to 15 years in prison and a huge fine. The tough legislation prompted figures such as the BBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Bloomberg and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to suspend operations in Russia and close their offices.

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