The brutal impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine was laid bare on Wednesday, as reports emerged that a Ukrainian police officer had lost his entire family while others including a Ukrainian TV cameraman and an Israeli DJ were cited as among other victims.
Ukrainian media reported that a family of five had been killed while trying to flee from Kherson, as Russian troops entered the city.
Those killed were the wife, parents, daughter and baby son of Ukrainian police officer Oleg Fedko, according to Ukrainian news outlet Zaxid.
It reported that the family were trying to escape the incoming troops in two cars when they were attacked near Nova Kakhovka on the outskirts of Kherson.
The officer’s wife, Irina, six-year-old daughter, Sofia, and baby son, Ivan, along with his father, Oleg, and mother, Anna, were all killed, it said.
The officer’s brother Denis Fedko told the news outlet that he was talking on the phone to his mother when she started shouting that there were children in the car. Then he heard shots ring out. The attack is understood to have happened last Thursday.
The older couple reportedly died at the scene. The children were taken to hospital, but died despite attempts to save their lives.
Meanhile, a TV cameraman who was among the first victims of Tuesday’s attack on Kyiv TV tower has been identified as Yevhenii Sakun.
He was killed as a result of the Russian missile strike which hit the tower situated close to Babyn Yar, a ravine and burial place for 30,000 Jews killed by the Nazis. At least five people are thought to have died in the attack.
Olga Tokariuk, a journalist with Spanish news agency EFE, said her former colleague had been killed in the blast, and posted a photo of his press card on Twitter. She wrote: “The first person I know died in this war. My former colleague, TV cameraman Yevhenii Sakun, was killed yesterday as a result of Russian missile strike on Kyiv’s Babyn Yar, along with 4 other people. It was a pleasure working with him. I’m devastated by this news. Eternal memory.”
In Israel, mourning began as news emerged that an Israeli national living in Ukraine with his family had also been killed.
Israeli DJ Roman Brodsky, a father of two, was shot dead in his vehicle at a checkpoint outside Kyiv, while attempting to leave Ukraine and return to Israel, the Times of Israel reported. The Foreign Ministry said Brodsky was part of a convoy of vehicles travelling to the Moldovan border on Monday to leave the country. He and his partner were intending to then fly to Israel.
Later, Brodsky’s partner Mila – who was in another car in the convoy – was reported as telling Israel’s state broadcaster Kan that she believed it was a case of mistaken identity, with Ukrainian forces on the lookout for a car said to be carrying Chechen fighters.
The Guardian subsequently asked if the Israeli foreign ministry could confirm that Brodsky had been killed by Ukrainian forces. Their answer said only: “The foreign ministry confirms news that an Israeli citizen was killed in Ukraine while part of a convoy of vehicles on their way to the border with Moldova. His vehicle was shot and he was killed. The director of the Department of Israelis Abroad spoke with his wife, who is currently in Ukraine with the deceased’s children.”
The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, said after the shooting: “On behalf of all citizens of Israel, I want to send my condolences to Roman’s wife, children and family in Israel and in Ukraine. We are continuing to doing everything to help Israelis return home.”