Ukrainian Journalist Killed After Fighting In War Called ‘Hero’ By Zelensky


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has paid tribute to a journalist who was killed while fighting invading Russian forces.

Oleksandr Makhov, 36, was killed amid Russian shelling on Wednesday, according to Ukrayinska Pravda. Makhov had been a journalist with Ukrainian television before volunteering for military service at the start of the war with Russia. He died near the town of Izium in northeastern Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region. Zelensky praised the “hero” during a speech to Ukrainians early Thursday morning.

“Today I will start with a story about a person. About Oleksandr Makhov, a well-known journalist,” Zelensky said, according to a translated transcript from the Ukrainian president’s office. “I’m sure you’ve seen his reports on Ukrainian channels and Dom TV. You may have seen his comments, his messages. He’s always been like that, with his own position. Patriotic and sincere… he has always been among the bravest.”

“From the first day of the full-scale war, he was on the front line,” Zelensky added. “Volunteer. Veteran of the ATO. Warrior of the 95th Assault Brigade… Russia will bear the responsibility for this death. We will certainly achieve victory for Ukraine… Eternal memory to him and to all our heroes who gave lives for Ukraine!”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has paid tribute to “hero” journalist-turned-soldier Oleksandr Makhov, who was killed on Wednesday while fighting Russian forces. Zelensky is pictured speaking to the press alongside soldiers in Bucha, Ukraine on April 4, 2022.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty

On April 28, Makhov shared a photo of himself with a bloody shrapnel wound on Facebook, while explaining that he had been hit by “fragments” during the ongoing fighting. His post also expressed his confidence that “all wounds will heal” ahead of his planned wedding to fiancée Anastasia Blyshchyk.

” I do not believe it ! Blyshchyk wrote on Facebook following news of Makhov’s death. “That can’t be the truth! My Sasha wanted to live! And he’s alive! Please tell me it’s a mistake!!! Tell me.”

Prior to the war, Makhov worked for Ukrainian TV channels Ukraine and Ukraine24, where he “covered frontline events,” according to Ukraine24. His reporting also included trips to Antarctica. Makhov is at least the eighth journalist to be killed during the war, according to Reuters.

This year was not the first time Makhov took a break from his journalism career to serve in the Ukrainian military. He enlisted as a soldier amid a conflict with Russian separatists in the Donbass region in 2015, before returning to journalism the following year.

“I felt what I was doing as a journalist was not enough,” Makhov said in an interview with Coffee or Die Magazine a few weeks before the current dispute began in February. “I wanted to fight the enemy as a soldier.”

“War is much more difficult as a soldier,” he added. “As a journalist, you know you might die. You know the other side might kill you, but you also feel like you’re not the target. As a soldier, on the other hand, you know that the enemy wants to kill you. They are trying to kill you. It’s a very different feeling… I’m ready to go back to war.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, DC, for comment.


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