Kyiv, Ukraine: “We were no exception. We had the illusion that green vests with the words “Press” would protect us. They were just shooting at journalists”.
These words came from journalists of Kiev who covered Euromaidan in Kyiv (Kiev) five years ago that ended with the fall of Russian-backed government in Ukraine.
The press-center of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) presented a photo exhibition “Journalists of EuroMaidan which took place five years ago. ” The exhibition expressed the work of the Ukrainian media during the Maidan and consists of 45 works, in which the daily work of journalists of Ukrainian and international media on the capital Maidan is recorded.
Ukrainian journalists are no exception and they have same concerns like other journalists of the world who cover conflict zones and war reporting.
“The status of a journalist in our country is not defined: for example, many colleagues now work in hot spots in the east of the country. In the event of injury or death, we do not know what kind of compensation is entitled to claim, or our relatives. We need to make some changes to the existing laws,” explained a senior journalist Alexander who is journalist corps covering conflict zone in Ukraine.
The exhibition showed how Ukrainian journalists stood against state terrorism against innocent civilians who were demanding their right to join European Union and journalists who were covering the event as their professional duty.
The press center of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine contributed a pivotal role in collecting and documented events which took place during Euromaidan.
“After all, when at the beginning of the events on the Maidan it seemed to us that a vest with the words“ press ”could protect us, then later rose-colored glasses fell and we learned well that the special mark was not protection from bullets. And these photos are so powerful, because it seemed to all of us that we were shooting a movie, and in the movie, nothing bad could happen. It was thought: “I won’t come here, I’m not doing anything wrong, I am only a journalist,” … says another journalist Natalya.
She said that events in past gave a lesson to journalists should take first aid courses and courses in conflict reporting.
One of the authors of the photographs of the photo exhibition, the journalist of the newspaper “The Voice of Ukraine”, Alexander Klimenko, was wounded on January 19, 2014.
“Then my Maidan ended, because I was in the hospital. I watched social networks and envied my colleagues that they were in the center of events. After them, I was even accused by law enforcement agencies of illegal activities, I later became a witness, and then I was recognized as a victim … In general, the status of a journalist in our country is not defined: for example, many colleagues now work in hot spots in the east of the country. In the event of injury or death, we do not know what kind of compensation is entitled to claim, or our relatives. We need to make some changes to the existing laws, – Alexander believes.