Video of Vinnytsia missile strike survivor causes scandal

17 July, 07:06 PM
Kudinov insists that he received permission from the woman to film (Photo:lizilove / instagram)

Kudinov insists that he received permission from the woman to film (Photo:lizilove / instagram)

A scandal has erupted in Ukraine over the publication of a video taken by journalist Anton Kudinov, which shows the mother of a girl, Lisa, who died as a result of a Russian missile attack on the center of Vinnytsia, on July 15.

The published footage, which was filmed in the hospital ward after Irina Dmitrieva, the mother in question, had been hospitalized for injuries inflicted by her Russian attack. It has been widely shared in Ukrainian social networks.

The footage shows a woman crying while watching a video with her daughter, and reproaches the international community for refusing to close the sky over Ukraine in order to stop Russian air attacks.

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And although Kudinov insists that he received permission to film, many Ukrainians considered this interview unethical, since the victim was in a state of shock and was still recovering from major physical trauma.

“When a person is injured, in shock, and there is a threat to their life, and you shoot a story like this and show them a video of their now dead child – it’s not journalism, it’s a mockery beyond the bounds of goodness,” said journalist Yuri Butusov on his Facebook page.

“I hope that the author realizes what he has done, perhaps it happened because he was seriously disturbed.”

Marina Tishchenko, deputy editor-in-chief of Ukrainian news site KP.UA, insists that for an interview like this one it was necessary to obtain permission from both the woman’s relatives and the hospital’s management.

“This is how it should be done in a normal empathic society,” says Tishchenko.

“I didn’t even think that Irina could’ve found out about her daughter’s death from journalists, well, because that would be completely unacceptable ... Whether she remembers Lisa’s death or learned it from a journalist (I really hope it’s not true) will be established. Irina is in a serious condition and even the closest people don’t talk to her about Lisa.”

Tishchenko added that Irina's relatives intend to contact law enforcement agencies about this.

NV journalist Kristina Berdynskykh said that Kudinov probably wanted to show the mother's grief over the loss of a child, but Berdynskykh also criticized this interview format, calling it a "mockery."

“They handed the woman a phone and turned on a video with her still alive and happy child for some reason...” said Berdynskykh on social media.

“This is torture. Do they think she doesn’t remember her child? This can break her... This is beyond some minimal level of humanity.”

In addition, Kudinov's posts on his Facebook page began to receive sharp criticism from users, some of them even included direct threats against him.

The deputy head of the President's Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said that the journalist was "chasing a sensational story".

“I urge everyone to be humane and not to do anything like this,” he said on national TV.

“This is a very difficult and tragic situation for any mother, for any Ukrainian. Don’t do this, please, let’s remain humane, and remember that a woman lost her child.”

The journalist himself, who is a fixer for the Italian TV channel RAI News 24, has already deleted the original scandalous video, but clarified that Irina herself wanted to draw the attention of the world to the war crimes of the Russian invaders.

“Irina and her family want to be heard and agreed to the interview, as well as to provide additional content for it,” Ukrainian media news outlet Detector Media quotes Kudinov as saying. 

“Irina and her family want you to hear what she has to say, and not to be distracted by details. She also wants the world to finally notice the fact that our children are being killed and to close the sky over our country.”

On July 14, Russia launched a missile strike on the city of Vinnytsia. Its targets were civilian structures in the city center. As a result of the missile attack, 24 people were killed, including three children, and nearly one hundred were injured.

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