Local journalists and press members who flooded into Ukraine from around the world are risking their lives at every turn to report on the latest developments on the ground in the war-torn country.
Since Feb. 24, the beginning of Russia's war on Ukraine, 18 journalists have been killed and 13 injured, Ukraine's Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said on Tuesday. During the war, it added, three journalists went missing, and eight journalists, including four women, were kidnapped.
Russia committed at least 148 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine in the first month of the war along, according to the Institute of Mass Information (IMI), an independent NGO backing the interests of civil society of Ukraine and, in particular, responsible journalists.
At least 10 TV towers were targeted by Russian forces, causing complete or temporary disruption of TV and radio broadcasting in eight regions of Ukraine, it said.
In addition, some 70 regional media outlets were forced to shut down across the country due to war-related threats, the institute said.
Last month, Russian troops attacked a team of Sky News reporters in their car. Several team members sustained bullet injuries but survived thanks to bulletproof vests.
On April 2, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced on Twitter that photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Maksim Levin was found dead near the capital Kyiv where he was documenting "Russian war crimes." It said that unarmed Max, according to investigators, was killed by Russian troops with "two shots from firearms."
"He is survived by his wife and four children," the ministry added.
Levin, 40, who went missing on March 13 while working on the frontlines near the capital city, was found dead near the village of Huta-Mezhyhirska on April 1, according to Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser and former deputy interior minister, also confirmed on Telegram that the Ukrainian journalist went missing over two weeks ago when reporting in the Vishgorod district, an area of intense fighting.
Levin, accompanied by Oleksiy Chernyshov, a serviceman and former photographer, went to Huta-Mezhyhirska on March 13 "to document the consequences of the Russian aggression," said LB.ua, a Ukrainian media outlet Levin worked with for over a decade.
"They left the car and went in the direction of the village of Moshchun. Since then, there has been no contact with either man. Later, it became known that intense combat started in the area where Maksim Levin was going to work. The location and fate of Oleksiy Chernyshov are currently unknown," it added.
Levin was also working with the international media, with most of his documentaries concerning the war in Ukraine.
Russian journalist Oksana Baulina of investigative website The Insider was killed in Russian shelling of Kyiv on March 23 in the line of duty.
The outlet said in a statement that Baulina was reporting from Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, and she was killed when Russian troops shelled a residential area of Kyiv called Podil while she was filming the destruction.
She died "during a bombardment while carrying out an editorial assignment," it added.
The Insider, whose editorial offices are based in the Baltic nation of Latvia, said that another civilian also died in the shelling, while two others who were with Baulina were wounded and admitted to hospital.
Baulina was known for previously working for Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation.
She left Russia last year after authorities added Navalny's foundation to a list of extremist groups.
Oleksandra Kuvshinova and Pierre Zakrzewski
Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshinova, 24, a Ukrainian filmmaker and journalist, died on March 14 together with Irish journalist Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, a cameraman for Fox News, when their car was struck by gunfire from Russian troops in the village of Horenka in the northwestern outskirts of the Kyiv region.
British correspondent Benjamin Hall, 39, was also injured in the attack.
Zakrzewski, a veteran cameraman, covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria for Fox News.
Kuvshynova had served as an on-the-ground consultant for Fox News.
Another foreign journalist who was killed while covering the Russian war in Ukraine was Brent Renaud, an award-winning filmmaker and journalist.
The American journalist, 50, was killed near the Russian checkpoint in the town of Irpinin in the Kyiv region on March 13, according to police.
Renaud, a former New York Times contributor, was shot dead when, along with a colleague, he went to report the situation of refugees fleeing the region.
Brent was in the region to work for a TIME Studios project on the global refugee crisis.
Kyiv police chief Andriy Nebytov said the journalist was targeted by Russian soldiers, while his two colleagues were injured and taken to hospital by Ukrainian rescuers.
One of the injured journalists was identified as Colombian-American reporter Juan Arredondo.
Viktor Dudar, a 44-year-old journalist from the Lviv region, was shot dead in Mykolaiv, Ukraine's southern strategic port city on the Black Sea, on March 4.
He was a crime correspondent for Express, Ukraine's weekly newspaper, until he volunteered for the 2014-2015 war in the eastern Donbas region.
After becoming a reservist and returning from the war, the Ukrainian journalist took the paper's defense correspondent position.
Dudar, who in peacetime was a journalist, again joined the army to fight the advancing Russian forces with the start of Moscow's war.
Ukrainian cameraman Yevhenii Sakun, 49, who was working for LIVE TV, was killed on March 1 during a Russian rocket attack on the TV tower in Kyiv's Babyn Yar area.
When the missile hit the building, Sakun was working with his colleagues there.
His body was identified by his press card only.
Besides Sakun, four more people were killed and five others injured in a strike on a TV tower in Kyiv's Shevchenkivskyi district.
Shakirov Dilerbek Shukurovych, a journalist for the information weekly Navkolo Tebe (Around You), was killed on Feb. 26, just two days after the war began.
He was shot dead from a car with an automatic weapon near the village of Zelenivka, a suburb of the southern city of Kherson.
The International Federation of Journalists on Twitter condemned the killing of the Ukrainian journalist.
The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international outrage, with the EU, US, and Britain, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,417 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,038 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.
More than 4.17 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency./aa