Journalists came under artillery fire from Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk Republic
The RT team led by journalist Valentin Gorshenin was hit by a rocket near the city of Dokuchaevsk in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Friday.
Two cameramen, Vladimir Batalin and Viktor Miroshnikov, were injured by shrapnel and were rushed to a local hospital. Gorshenin himself was unhurt in the shelling. A civilian was killed and two others injured in the same bombardment.
The crew came under fire when they stopped at a gas station for coffee, Gorshenin said. No real military targets were near the location, the reporter said.
The gas station was apparently hit by a cluster munition, which bombarded the surrounding area with its submunitions, graphic images captured by the crew moments after the attack. Journalists and injured civilians were dragged into the gas station, and a seriously injured man died instantly. The explosives set fire to a civilian cargo truck parked outside the station, raising fears of a secondary explosion of its petrol tank. However, the fire was quickly brought under control.
The crew has been working in the combat zone since mid-March, covering the dramatic siege of Mariupol, as well as fighting on the front lines of the DPR.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the republics from the Donbass of Donetsk and Lugansk. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give breakaway regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.
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