Two reporters shot in Ukraine; Sky News crew ambushed by Russian ‘Death Squad’

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A Sky News crew barely made it out alive after a Russian “death squad” opened fire on them as they were driving toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Monday.

Video footage of the stunning encounter showed the crew driving down a road when they suddenly heard what they thought was the sound of one of their tires bursting.

“We set off, but it was deadly quiet, and it’s fair to say we were concerned. But we travelled slowly forwards towards an intersection. There was rubble in the road, but that’s normal now,” Sky News‘ Stuart Ramsay later wrote in a recap.

“There were no soldiers, it all seemed deserted. And then out of nowhere a small explosion and I saw something hit the car and a tyre burst. We rolled to a stop. And then our world turned upside down,” he recalled.

Their vehicle then came under heavy, heavy, heavy gunfire.

“The first round cracked the windscreen. Camera operator Richie Mockler huddled into the front passenger footwell. Then we were under full attack. Bullets cascaded through the whole of the car, tracers, bullet flashes, windscreen glass, plastic seats, the steering wheel, and dashboard had disintegrated,” according to Ramsay.

“Producer Martin Vowles, who was driving, got out of the car first, quickly followed by Andrii Lytvynenko, our local producer, leaving me, Richie, and my producer Dominique Van Heerden inside, taking cover in the footwells and across the backseat.”

The crew assumed at the time that they’d come upon a Ukrainian checkpoint and that the Ukrainians had mistaken them for enemy combatants, so they began yelling that they were journalists. Yet “the rounds kept coming.”

This left them with no other option but to try and escape.

FYI, they reportedly aren’t the only journalists who’ve come under attack by Russian troops in Ukraine:

(Source: Twitter)

“We knew we had to get out to survive, but the incoming fire was intense. Dominique pushed open her door a little further and slipped to the ground, crawling towards a motorway barrier and then dived down a 40-foot embankment, rolling to the bottom,” Ramsay recalled in his recap for Sky News.

“Richie was shouting to me, but I can’t really remember much. I do recall wondering if my death was going to be painful. And then I was hit in the lower back. ‘I’ve been hit!’ I shouted. But what amazed me was that it didn’t hurt that bad. It was more like being punched, really.”

That was because he’d been wearing body armor.

It took a while, but the crew managed to flee from the car — while still under fire — and make it into a nearby factory, where they then dialed up Sky News to request a rescue. However, they were told they’d have to wait til the next morning.

In the meantime, they had no other choice but to hide in the factory and hope and pray that the Russians wouldn’t come inside.

“Outside, the sounds of the battle intensified. We had no idea what was going on, but we were scared that at any moment the garage doors would explode inward, and gunmen would come to kill us,” according to Ramsay.

“It’s often like this in hairy situations – you survive the first part and get to safety, and then it all starts going downhill again. And you are tired, exhausted really, and the adrenaline subsides, and you feel down and beaten.”

(Source: Sky News video screenshot)

As Ramsay was dozing off on a couch sometime later, he saw a flashing light and then heard “the sound of heavy boots and shouting in the stairwell.” The crew assumed at the time that they’d been found by the Russians. But thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

“Ukrainian police, come quickly!” were the “beautiful” words they heard next.

And the rest is history.

According to Ramsay, not til after all this occurred did the crew learn that they’d been ambushed “by a saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad,” i.e., a Russian death squad.

It’s not clear whether this squad had been comprised of Russian soldiers or foreign mercenaries. What’s known is that Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed mercenary death squads to kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The squads have allegedly made at least three attempts to assassinate him within the past week alone.

Earlier in Ramsay’s reporting, he did note that prior to being fired upon, they’d been directed down that specific road by Ukrainian soldiers.

“We stopped at a checkpoint and spoke to the soldiers and police, asking them if the road into Kyiv was passable. A police officer walked to the car and handed us ice creams through the window, telling us we could turn left and go down the road to Kyiv – he said it was open,” the report reads.

“We set off, but it was deadly quiet, and it’s fair to say we were concerned. But we travelled slowly forwards towards an intersection. There was rubble in the road, but that’s normal now. There were no soldiers, it all seemed deserted.”

And that’s when they were fired upon.


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