Ukrainian photojournalist Serhiy Nikolayev, 43, was killed on Saturday while working during a shelling attack in Pesky, Ukraine, in the heart of the nation.
Local paper Segodnya reported that Nikolayev and his colleague Bogdan Rossinsky were on assignment in Pesky. Rossinksy said everything was quiet until “suddenly there was an explosion.” He was wounded, but Nikolayev sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital. The chief surgeon at the Krasnoarmiysk hospital in Donetsk– a highly-contested Ukrainian territory– reported that Nikolayev arrived alive, but his injuries were ultimately fatal. He later passed away. His body will be transported back to Kiev after a full examination.
Nikolayev covered the wars in Georgia, Libya, Somalia, and Syria during his career. In 2013, he held his own personal exhibition of photographs of children during war. He is the seventh journalist to die in east Ukraine, but the first Ukrainian journalist. He leaves behind a 20-year-old daughter.
“All seven years at Today, Sergei was a hurricane genius with shooting,” said Olga Guk, the chief editor of the Today newspaper. “He climbed with the camera into the inferno to show real life. He did not spare himself. He was a fearless professional in a lot of hot spots and did a lot of terrific stories for Today. And he died like a true military photojournalist – in the war. It is an irreparable loss for Today and everyone who knew him.”
The conflict between sovereign Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed “rebels” has technically been in a ceasefire state since February 15, but evidence has yet to surface that anyone is abiding by the ceasefire. Western leaders have still expressed “hope” the ceasefire will “continue” due to drops in fighting. However, in the first five days, the Russian soldiers and pro-Russians fired upon the Ukrainian army over 250 times. Despite the strict agreement, which prohibited all fighting, Russia is not being punished for its obvious breaking of the agreement.