Italian daily says reporter shot dead in Ukraine

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A Ukrainian reporter working as a fixer for Italy’s Repubblica daily has been shot dead by snipers in southern Ukraine, while his Italian colleague was wounded, the newspaper said Wednesday.

“Our correspondent Corrado Zunino and his fixer Bogdan Bitik were victims of an ambush by Russian snipers today on the outskirts of Kherson, in southern Ukraine,” the Repubblica said.

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“Bitik unfortunately did not make it and died: he leaves behind his wife and a son. Corrado, who was wounded in the shoulder, is in the civil hospital in Kherson,” it said.

Both reporters, who had extensively covered the conflict, were wearing bulletproof vests with “press” written on them, it added.

“We were hit. I saw Bogdan on the ground, he wasn’t moving,” Zunino said in a telephone conversation with someone at the Repubblica, the daily said.

“I crawled until I got out of the line of fire. I ran until I came across a civilian’s car. I was covered in blood, I got myself taken to the hospital in Kherson.

“I tried several times to call Bogdan, he didn’t answer. He was a great friend of mine, the pain is excruciating”, he was reported to have said.

The reporters were ambushed near the bridge in Kherson, the Repubblica said.

“It’s difficult to recover Bitik’s body at the moment, due to the presence of snipers,” it said.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said his ministry and the Italian embassy in Kiev were working with the Ukrainian authorities on returning Zunino to Italy.

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