Ukraine: Sky News British journalist shot and wounded in violent ambush near capital Kyiv as crew car targeted

Chief correspondent at Sky News was hit by a bullet in the lower back as shooting targeted a car carrying his crew towards the Ukrainian capital

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A British journalist was shot and wounded in a violent ambush near the Ukrainian capital on Monday 28 February.

Stuart Ramsay, chief correspondent at Sky News, was hit by a bullet in the lower back as shooting targeted a car carrying his crew towards Kyiv.

Camera operator Richie Mockler was also hit with two rounds to his body armour before the team managed to escape and take cover.

They were later rescued by Ukrainian police and it is understood that the whole crew are now safe.

What happened?

On Friday (4 March) shocking footage of the incident was played out on Sky News, showing the team under heavy fire with glass smashing around them.

In a written account of the ambush, Mr Ramsay said his team had been heading for the town of Bucha, where they intended to learn more about the destruction of a Russian convoy by the Ukrainian army the previous day.

Their destination was only around 30 kilometres from the centre of Kyiv, but Mr Ramsay said the trip took hours due to the crew being held up by road closures and redirections.

At the last Ukrainian checkpoint it was suggested they should not proceed any further, with the team then deciding to re-enter from a different direction to avoid what they now knew to be dangerous routes.

A police officer gave the crew the go-ahead to take a road to Kyiv so the crew proceeded cautiously towards an intersection.

As they approached the junction, the cars started to be shot at.

Mr Ramsay said it was then that “out of nowhere” there was a “small explosion”, a tyre burst, the car stopped, and “our world turned upside down”.

He said: “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,” he added.

Some of the crew managed to escape but Mr Ramsay was hit by a bullet in the lower back.

He said: “Richie says I then got out of the car and stood up, before jogging to the edge of the embankment and then started running. I lost my balance and fell to the bottom, landing like a sack of potatoes, cutting my face.

“My armour and helmet almost certainly saved me.”

The team eventually made it to a factory unit to take cover and were later rescued by Ukrainian police.

Who were the team of Sky journalists?

The Sky News crew was a team of five including chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay along with camera operator Richie Mockler, who were both shot.

Martin Vowles, Dominique Van Heerden, and local producer Andrii Lytvynenko were also among the crew.

Who was behind the attack?

It is thought that the attack was carried out by a saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad.

Mr Ramsay said: “We didn’t know it at the time, but we were later told by the Ukrainians that we were being ambushed by a saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad.

“It was professional, the rounds kept smashing into the car – they didn’t miss.”

Mr Ramsay added that the team initially thought a Ukrainian army checkpoint might be behind the shooting.

The crew tried to explain that they are journalists, asking their attackers to stop - but it did nothing to deter them.

“I do recall wondering if my death was going to be painful,” he said.

Where are the Sky News journalists now?

The Sky News crew has now arrived back in the UK, while local producer Mr Lytvynenko is still with his family in Ukraine.

“The point is we were very lucky,” Mr Ramsay said.

He added: “But thousands of Ukrainians are dying, and families are being targeted by Russian hit squads just as we were, driving along in a family saloon and attacked.

“This war gets worse by the day.”

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