October 4, 2023

04.10.2023 – Drone Attack on Journalist in Ukraine Sparks Outrage and Concern for Media Safety

An alarming drone attack on journalists in Ukraine has raised serious concerns about the safety of media professionals reporting from conflict zones. The incident, which occurred on 19 September 2023, targeted Oleksandr Pavlov (Олександр Павлов), a Ukrainian journalist and producer, and his team.

Pavlov works since start of the war in Ukraine for Scandinavian media as reporter, before the war he was publisher of several print media in Ukraine and producer of documentary movies.

In the attack near the front line in the southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia (Запоріжжя) in Ukraine, Pavlov was wounded while his colleagues, reporter Johan Fredriksson and photojournalist Daniel Zdolsek, miraculously escaped unharmed. Unfortunately, an accompanying Ukrainian police officer was injured, and all the essential filming equipment inside their vehicle together with their vehicle was destroyed.

The journalists had diligently followed security protocols, including helmets clearly marked with the word “Press.” As the Russian drone had a camera, the drone operator could see that it is a group of journalists.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns this attack on journalists who are reporting from the war. Such incidents undermine the important reporting from a war and must not go unaddressed.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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