One Russian Journalist Killed, Three Others Injured in Ukrainian Cluster-Bomb Attack

 This article originally appeared on Leo Hohmann’s Substack and was republished with permission.

Russian journalist Rostislav Zhuravlev (pictured above) has been killed and three other journalists injured near the front line in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhia region, Russia’s defense ministry said, as Moscow accused Kiev of using cluster munitions supplied by the United States this month in the attack.

Zhuravlev, a war correspondent for Russia’s RIA news agency, was killed and three other Russian journalists were wounded in a Ukrainian artillery attack on Saturday, July 22, the Russian defense ministry said, adding that they were evacuated from the battlefield but Zhuravlev died during the journey.

Zhuravlev was under the employ of Russia’s RIA Novosti when he, along with several others on the team, came under heavy shelling.

A statement was issued by the Russian news agency TASS as follows:

“Those who were involved in the brutal attack on Russian journalist Rostislav Zhuravlev will be held accountable, and responsibility will also be shared by the suppliers of cluster bombs to Kiev, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Saturday.

“The perpetrators of the brutal attack on the Russian journalist will inevitably face deserved punishment. The entire extent of responsibility will also be shared by those who have sent cluster munitions to their Kiev proteges,” the diplomat said.

“As a result of a strike by the Ukrainian army using cluster munitions, four journalists were wounded in various levels of severity,” the Russian army said in a statement, adding that the other correspondents have wounds of “medium severity.”

Zhuravlev was killed after Ukrainian forces hit a civilian vehicle in the area, said Evgeny Balitsky, the acting head of Russia’s Zaporozhye Region.

RIA Novosti’s photojournalist Konstantin Mikhalchevsky was also injured in the strike, it added.

Izvestia newspaper reported that its correspondent Roman Polshakov and cameraman Dmitry Shikov were among those injured in the shelling.

According to the paper, Polshakov fractured his leg, while also receiving shrapnel wounds to the leg, abdomen and back. Shikov suffered shrapnel wounds and a hip fracture.

Dmitry Kiselyov, the head of Rossiya Segodnya media group, which includes RIA Novosti and Sputnik, described Zhuravlev as an experienced professional who was always among the first to report accurate information from the most dangerous areas. The journalist will be buried in the city of Ekaterinburg in the Ural region where he was born, Kiselyov added.

Journalist Daniel Hawkins, speaking from Moscow, cited a “furious reaction” from Moscow.

“Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, said that this attack has crossed all moral red lines,” Hawkins said, adding that Konstantin Kosachev, the vice deputy speaker of the Russian Federation Council, said Ukraine and Washington bore equal responsibility for the attack.

The Russian foreign ministry said Zhuravlev’s death is “a heinous, premeditated crime” committed by Western powers and Kyiv.

“Everything indicates that the attack on the group of journalists was not carried out by chance,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

Maria Zakharova, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, denounced what she called “criminal terror” by Ukraine and said, without providing evidence, that the attack appeared deliberate.

If evidence were to come available, it is against international Geneva accords for war combatants to target journalists.

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