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Aug. 11, 2008
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Journalists Suffered Combat Losses
Two journalists were killed and eight wounded in three days of fighting in South Ossetia. Commander of the 58th Army General Anatoly Khrulev was wounded as well. Mass media hadnt suffered the losses of that extent even during the first war in Chechnya.
A group of journalists, including Alexander Klimchuk, the owner of Georgias sole independent photo agency Caucasus Press Images, who worked under the contract with ITAR-TASS, his colleague Teimuraz Kikuradze, Grigol Chikhladze from Newsweek Russia, as well as the U.S. reporter Winston Faderly, had disappeared in South Ossetias capital Tskhinvali far back on Friday. The news on their destiny emerged only yesterday. Klimchuk and Chikhladze were killed, other journalists were wounded.

According to Caucasus Press Images, Klimchuk and Chikhladze had been in South Ossetia even before the start of Georgias assault. In time of street fighting in Tskhinvali, they were in the area first controlled by the Georgians and then by the Ossetians.

In darkness, born and grown up in Tbilisi, Klimchuk greeted in Georgian a group of submachine-gunners and got a fire-burst in return. Once the Ossetians realized that they faced the reporters, they delivered the wounded to the hospital in Tskhinvali, which continued to work in a basement because of the shelling attacks of Georgia.

Despite all efforts of doctors, Klimchuk and Chikhladze died of wounds. Other journalists are in Tskhinvali and the condition of Faderly is rather grave.

Russias reporters a film crew of Vesti TV Channel of Alexander Sladkov, Leonid Losev and Igor Uklein, as well as Komsomolskaya Pravda reporter Alexander Kots - survived the fire Saturday. They were moving in column of armored vehicles led by the 58th Army Commander General-Lieutenant Anatoly Khrulev when attacked by officers of Georgian riot unit positioned two levels above, at the height of 80 meters and 120 meters.

Khrulev was wounded in leg but continued to fire back and command the battle. The fire didnt spare reporters and the victims were delivered to Vladikavkaz hospital.

Now we are trying to transport the wounded reporters to Moscow, VGTRK Deputy General Director Dmitry Kiselev said. It is particularly important to transport cameraman Losev, whose condition is grave after the complex operation.

NTV producer Pyotr Gassiev was also wounded in Tskhinvali, news agencies reported past night.

All the Article in Russian as of Aug. 11, 2008

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