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Russia Probes Death of NTV Cameraman Killed in Occupied Ukraine

NTV cameraman Valery Kozhin. Social media

Russian law enforcement authorities on Friday launched a criminal investigation into a shelling attack in eastern Ukraine that killed a cameraman and injured a war correspondent working for the pro-government NTV television channel.

NTV cameraman Valery Kozhin died in the hospital on Thursday after reportedly coming under attack near the Russian-occupied city of Horlivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. His colleague, TV journalist Alexey Ivliev, and an accompanying Russian military officer were also injured in the shelling.

“Doctors kept [Kozhin] alive for several hours, but the injuries ended up being fatal,” NTV said in a statement, adding that the cameraman started working at the television channel in 2006 and had been on reporting trips in Syria and parts of occupied Ukraine.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was treating Kozhin’s death as murder, as well as a case of “obstruction of the legitimate professional activities of journalists.”

“As part of the probe, investigators will establish all the circumstances of the crime against media representatives, as well as those involved in it,” the law enforcement agency said in a statement.

The Moscow-backed mayor of Horlivka, Ivan Prikhodko, said Thursday that Kozhin and Ivliev came under a shelling attack “while performing their professional duties” in the nearby village of Holmivskyi.

War correspondent Ivliev, who survived the attack, had one of his arms amputated, media reported on Friday.

“One arm is gone, but I’m still living,” the TV journalist said in a video shared on social media. “We’re Russians, we’ll get through this.”

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