Oleksandr Makhov, a famous war reporter for Ukrainian television, aged 36, was killed on Wednesday while taking part in the fighting in Izium in the Kharkiv region, according to the local newspaper Kyiv Post. As in 2015, during the war against pro-Russian separatists, the journalist had, from the first day of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, taken up arms to defend his country. Oleksandr Makhov had moved the Ukrainian people at the end of April, by asking his fiancee in marriage on the front line.
“I send my sincere condolences to his family and friends,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who paid tribute to him in his address to the nation on Wednesday. “His son Vladyslav knows it: Russia will bear the responsibility for his death. Ukraine will win. I’m sure it was Oleksandr’s dream and we will make it happen,” he added.
Several of his colleagues expressed their sadness on social networks. “Russia’s filthy war killed Oleksandr Makhov, our colleague, one of the best reporters in the country, a veteran,” Ukrainian journalist Iryna Matviyishyn wrote on Twitter, for example.
“A new black day for Ukrainian war journalism: Oleksandr Makhov (…) was killed in a Russian bombardment”, also tweeted Illia Pomarenko, reporter for the “Kyiv Independent”.
At the start of the Russian offensive, on February 24, Oleksandr Makhov took up arms. His marriage proposal live from the front had aroused the excitement of Internet users at the end of April. “I don’t have a ring on me, but I have a grenade pin ring. So I ask you? Do you want to be my wife? “, he had then declared in a video addressed to his fiancée.
Oleksandr Makhov was born in Luhansk, Donbass. He started covering the conflict in the region in 2014 when the fighting started and then swapped his camera for an automatic weapon to fight alongside the Ukrainian army. When the situation stabilized, he returned to Kyiv to practice his profession as a journalist, according to the Kyiv Post.
Described as one of the country’s most famous reporters, Makhov was the first Ukrainian journalist to visit Ukraine’s Vernadsky research station in Antarctica in 2017, according to President Zelensky. At the start of the pandemic, he carried out a two-week report in Sanzhary, in the east of the country, where the first Ukrainians repatriated from China had been placed in quarantine.
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