A war correspondent for Russia’s RIA news agency was killed and three other Russian journalists were wounded by shelling near the frontline in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region on Saturday, Russia’s defense ministry said.
The ministry said the journalists were wounded in a Ukrainian artillery strike. They were evacuated from the battlefield but RIA correspondent Rostislav Zhuravlev died during the journey, it said.
It said the others were in a serious but stable condition. “There is no threat to life. They are receiving all the necessary medical care,” the ministry said.
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RIA confirmed in a report that its correspondent had been killed while reporting in the frontline village of Piatykhatky, and that one of its cameramen was also hurt.
The defense ministry said Ukraine had used cluster munitions in the incident, but did not provide evidence for this and Reuters was not able to verify it independently.
Ukraine received cluster bombs from the United States this month, but it has pledged to use them only to dislodge concentrations of enemy soldiers.
Such weapons contain scores of small bomblets that rain shrapnel over a wide area, but are banned in many countries due to the potential danger they pose to civilians. Ukraine has repeatedly said their use will be limited to the battlefield.
The United Nations has said Russia itself has repeatedly used cluster munitions during the war.
The ministry said that Ukraine launched an artillery strike on the journalists using cluster munitions. Reuters was not able to immediately verify the defense ministry’s account.