Ukraine war: Russian strike on Kyiv kills reporter Vira Hyrych

A journalist working for Radio Liberty in Ukraine was killed in Russian rocket strikes on Kyiv on Thursday evening, the station has confirmed.

Vira Hyrych was at home when a rocket hit the residential building where she lived in the capital, it says. Her body was pulled from the wreckage on Friday.

She “will be remembered for her professionalism and dedication to our mission”, the US-funded station says.

Kyiv was hit as UN Secretary General António Guterres was visiting the city.

The UN chief – who only a day earlier had held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin – said he was “shocked” by the Russian attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the Kremlin of trying to humiliate the UN, while Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said the Russian leader had shown “his middle finger” to Mr Guterres.

Moscow has confirmed it hit Ukrainian targets, but has not commented on the strike on the building.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our Ukrainian Service staffer Vira Hyrych in Kyiv overnight,” Radio Liberty President Jamie Fly said in a statement.

“We are shocked and angered by the senseless nature of her death at home in a country and city she loved. Her memory will inspire our work in Ukraine and beyond for years to come.”

Oleksandr Demchenko, one of Ms Hyrych’s colleagues, wrote in a Facebook post: “A wonderful person is gone.”

Anton Strashko, who worked with Ms Hyrych at one of Ukraine’s leading TV channels before she joined Radio Liberty, said she had been “an extremely kind” person. He added that he didn’t want to believe she was dead.

Ruins of building
Image caption,The residential building’s ground and first floors were partially destroyed after the Russian strike

Ms Hyrych lived in the 25-storey building in Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivskyi district which was hit by a Russian missile late on Thursday.

The building caught fire immediately, and the ground and the first floors were partially destroyed, Ukraine’s emergencies services say.

City officials say 10 people were injured.

Ms Hyrych, who was born in 1967, joined Radio Liberty’s Kyiv office in 2018. She also worked there as a producer.

Radio Liberty, also known as Radio Free Europe, is a US government-funded organisation which broadcasts news in areas of the world where free press may be restricted or not yet established.

Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists says 23 media professionals – both Ukrainians and foreigners – have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

Source: BBC

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