Mstislav Chernov and Evgeny Malolitka were the last journalists present in Mariupol. The Russian army was hunting them, and they had to leave the city.
in a long story Posted on Monday by The Associated PressMstislav Chernov tells of how he slipped out of the city of Mariupol. Together with Evgeny Malolitka, he was the last journalist working for foreign media in this city in southeastern Ukraine besieged by the Russian army.
Tuesday, March 15, “We were reporting inside the hospital when armed men began roaming the corridors. Surgeons gave us white coats to wear as camouflage. Suddenly, at dawn, dozens of soldiers stormed in: ‘Where are the journalists?'” ‘ says Mstislav Chernov.
After getting acquainted with the Ukrainian uniform, the journalist made himself known. “We’re here to get you out of here,” replied the soldiers, urging him to go out with fellow photographer Evgeny Malolitka, “although we felt much safer inside,” Mstislav Chernov explains.
The expulsion of this group of journalists was necessary. Mstislav Chernov writes: “The Russians were looking for us. They had a list of names, including ours, and they were about to finish.”
In this account, Mstislav Chernov also testifies to the words of a policeman from Mariupol, confirming these Russian threats: “If they catch you, they will film you and make you say that everything you photographed is a lie,” which is certain. The agent for reporters. “All your efforts and everything you did in Mariupol will be in vain.”
“I was ashamed to leave”
These two journalists covered the entire siege of Mariupol. They are the ones who transmitted the pictures of the bombing of the maternity ward in the city, which moved the whole world.
“We were the last journalists in Mariupol. Now there is no one.”
When he left the devastated city, Mstislav Chernov said he was “ashamed.” For him, “the absence of information during the siege achieves two goals.”
The first, he explains, is “chaos”: “People don’t know what’s going on, and they panic. (…) If Mariupol falls so quickly, I know it’s because of a lack of communication.”
The lack of information also allows “impunity” for Moscow, says Mstislav Chernov. “Without pictures of demolished buildings and dying children, the Russian troops could have done whatever they wanted.”
“That’s why we took so many risks to send out what we saw to the world. It made Russia angry enough to go after us.”
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