KYIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian journalist working with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica was killed and his Italian colleague was injured on Wednesday when they came under attack as they traveled to the city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, the newspaper reported.
Bogdan Bitik, who was working as an interpreter for the Italian journalist, Corrado Zunino, was killed in an attack at the gate to the city, “most likely by Russian snipers,” the paper said. Mr. Zunino was injured and is being treated at a hospital in Kherson.
Both journalists had extensive experience covering the war, La Repubblica reported, and were clearly identified as members of the news media.
“We passed three checkpoints, Bogdan talked to the Ukrainian military, and they let us pass without problems,” Mr. Zunino told the paper from his hospital bed. “It wasn’t a fighting zone. Then we got hit. I heard a hiss, and I saw Bogdan on the ground. He wasn’t moving. I crawled out of the line of fire. I ran until I passed a civilian car. I was full of blood. I had to be taken to Kherson hospital.”
He said he had been trying to contact Mr. Bitik but got no answer.
“He was a great friend of mine” Mr. Zunino said. “It’s excruciating.”
La Repubblica said the continued threats posed by Russian snipers made it difficult to recover Mr. Bitik’s body. His death was confirmed by Ukrainian officials in public statements.
Ukrainian forces drove the Russians out of Kherson last fall, but the city has come under near daily bombardment by Russian forces positioned on the east bank of the Dnipro River. They have used long-range artillery, airstrikes, rockets, snipers, drones and other weapons to keep the region under threat.
Dozens of civilians have been killed in the attacks in and around the city since the Ukrainians regained control over the area.