The International Press Institute (IPI) today expresses deep sadness over the death of Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, who was tragically killed by Russian shelling in Kyiv while she was carrying out her professional duties. Amid growing attacks on the press in Ukraine, IPI calls on international investigatory bodies to prosecute all targeted attacks on the press as war crimes under international law.
“On behalf of IPI’s global network, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Oksana Baulina’s family, friends and colleagues at The Insider”, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said: “Her death is a huge loss to all who knew her and to the wider journalistic community in Ukraine, as well as another bitter reminder of the appalling human cost of this war.
“As we today pass one month since Russia’s invasion began, we mourn the death of Oksana and the four other journalists senselessly killed while carrying out their journalistic missions: Yevhen Sakun, Brent Renaud, Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova. Their deaths, as well as the attacks suffered by dozens more journalists in Ukraine over the past four weeks, underscore the perils that reporters covering this conflict face.
“Each of these killings and attacks should be investigated and those responsible must face justice. Targeted attacks on journalists are war crimes, as is the deliberate shelling of highly populate civilian areas, and both should be treated as such by the International Criminal Court. We encourage all journalists and media workers who have been targeted by Russian forces to speak with prosecutors in Kyiv who are gathering evidence. IPI will continue our systematic monitoring of the situation to ensure that every single attack on journalists and the media is properly documented and recorded.”
Baulina, a journalist for the Latvia-based Russian news outlet The Insider, was killed on March 23 as she was reporting on a previous shelling attack which struck the Podil district of Kyiv. She had been on an editorial assignment at the time, according to her employer, which said she had been reporting from the capital and from the western city of Lviv.
#Ukraine: IPI is deeply saddened by the death of Oksana Baulina, a Russian journalist for @the_ins_ru, who was tragically killed by a Russian rocket strike while on assignment filming shelling damage in #Kyiv. She is the fifth journalist killed in the line of duty during the war. pic.twitter.com/WfNjrLb3f4
— IPI-The Global Network for Independent Journalism (@globalfreemedia) March 23, 2022
One civilian died in the same attack and two other people accompanying her were wounded and hospitalized, according to media reports. In a statement on its website, The Insider expressed its “deepest condolences” to the reporter’s family and friends.
Before moving to work as a correspondent in Ukraine, where she covered topics including politics and corruption, Baulina had worked in Russia for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which was founded by the now jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. When the Foundation was added to a list of extremist organizations following the arrest of Navalny in 2021, its staff were forced to leave Russia.
IPI’s Ukraine-Russia War Tracker has so far documented 248 different attacks on journalists or media organisations, as well as restrictions on press freedom linked to the war. IPI has created a Ukraine Solidarity Fund to help provide financial and humanitarian support to journalists in Ukraine.