A Ukrainian journalist who enlisted himself as a soldier to fight for his country was killed by Russian forces in the Kharkiv region on Wednesday. Oleksandr Makhov, 36, was killed in action outside the northeastern city of Izyum, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday as he led tributes for the brave Ukrainian.
Makhov is at least the eighth journalist to have died in more than two months of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin gears up for another round of assault on Ukraine as his forces continue to suffer massive losses in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers.
Killed on Duty
Zelensky started his address to the nation on Wednesday by sharing Makhov's death in action at the hands of Russian forces. "Today I will start with a story about one person. About Oleksandr Makhov â a well-known journalist," he said.
"I'm sure you've seen his reports on Ukraine and Dom TV channels. You may have seen his comments, his posts. He has always been like that â with his own position. Patriotic and sincere. And always without vanity. And he was always among the bravest, among the first.
"He always worked in the hottest spots. Tried to bring true material. Powerful material."
"Today he died in the Kharkiv region, in the battles near Izium. He was 36 years old. My sincere condolences to relatives and friends. Let his son Vladyslav know: Russia will bear responsibility for this death. We will definitely gain victory for Ukraine. I'm sure it was Oleksandr's dream. And we will make it come true," he continued.
"He was on the frontlines from the start of the full-scale fighting. Volunteer. Veteran of the ATO. The 95th assault brigade's warrior," said Zelensky
Fighting for His Country
Makhov took up the gun in recent weeks after he decided to defend his country from the Russians. He was born in the Luhansk area of Ukraine. He had a strong sense of what this battle meant to him.
Makhov, who is known for his graphic accounts from war zones, has previously reported from Antarctica. In fact, he was also the first Ukrainian journalist to visit the nation's Antarctica outpost in 2017. He even stayed at Sanzhary, where Ukrainians have been taken from China after the Covid outbreak.
After Russian-speakers staged separatist insurgencies in two eastern regions of Ukraine in 2014, he fought in a conflict.
"Another day, another journalist killed. More death. More heartbreaking Facebook posts and tweets from people who knew him. (He joined the army when the war began.) Rest peacefully, Oleksandr Makhov. We'll make sure they pay," Ukrainian journalist Anastasiia Lapatina posted on Twitter.
Another fellow journalist said: "Russians killed another person I knew, another journalist. I met Oleksandr Makhov in Sloviansk several years ago. He was one of the best Ukrainian war reporters. He joined the army after Russian full-scale invasion and was killed in combat near Izium. He was so young. RIP."