Photographer and documentary maker Ihor Hudenko was killed in uncertain circumstances in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on February 26 while he was documenting the beginning of the war. After the Russian full-scale invasion on February 24 began, Hudenko rode his bicycle to the outskirts of the city to take photos and videos, which he posted on his social media profile. He posted on his personal Facebook page again on February 25 with a video showing destroyed Russian military hardware. According to a colleague, who spoke to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Hudenko was killed the following day while he was filming on Kharkiv’s Natalia Uzhviy Street, in the northern Saltivka district. His body was reportedly found on the street close to a bypass. At the time, the location was reportedly the scene of heavy fighting between invading Russian forces and the Ukrainian army. While the exact circumstances in which he died are unknown, it is clear Hudenko had travelled to the area to take videos and document the start of the invasion as part of his work as a freelance photojournalist and documentary maker. Friends and colleagues first reported that he had gone missing after his social media profile fell silent after February 26. The circumstances in which he was buried are also unknown. His grave was discovered with the help of volunteers and paramedics. It was established that he had been buried on April 9. The cause of death was investigated by forensic experts. Hudenko’s death was first reported on May 20. Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspilne reported on his death. In his work as a photojournalist, blogger and activist, he predominantly made documentary films and covered local events and protests held by the environmental group Green Front. Before that, he worked for local TV broadcaster Glavnoe until 2016. More recently, Hudenko had co-produced a documentary film called ‘Yevhen Kotliar, the Hero of Ukraine’.
Photographer and documentary-maker Ihor Hudenko killed while documenting start of the war in Kharkiv