Europe

Ukraine crisis: Reporter injured on OSCE monitoring trip

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Media caption"We were told it was calm here. But it just shows you how quickly things can change"

This was supposed to be a mission to monitor the ceasefire by a team from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

We were told by the pro-Russian rebels, who guided us, and other journalists, that things were quiet in the village of Shyrokyne, near the strategic port city of Mariupol.

But within minutes of arriving, there are loud explosions.

A man lies seriously wounded on the ground. He's bleeding badly from the head.

We learn he's called Andrei and is a journalist working for Russia's military TV channel.

A member of the BBC's team starts to treat him. He's joined by two medics from the OSCE.

Gunfire exchange

Andrei has lost a lot of blood and his body is shaking violently as he goes into shock.

Image caption A BBC team member and two OSCE medics treated the injured journalist on the scene
Image caption Shyrokyne has been badly damaged in heavy fighting

A local woman is screaming hysterically, as blood stains the pavement outside the local shop where he's now lying, and the journalists brought to monitor this peace mission crowd around.

The three men treating Andrei manage to stem the bleeding, but there are then exchanges of gunfire nearby.

What sound like rocket propelled grenades are also fired.

There is no ceasefire here, even when the OSCE are in the village.

The BBC-OSCE team gets Andrei into an old green Soviet-era van, and he is driven away to the local hospital.

Later we learn he is still alive, but in a serious condition.

His colleague tells us that Andrei said he needed the toilet. When he walked behind the shop, we believe he triggered a booby trap.

It was a short walk that might have cost him his life, and it was a reminder of how volatile the ceasefire agreement is here.

Later we meet two elderly women who are still living in this village on the frontline. Their eyes quickly fill with tears - this is a common scene in eastern Ukraine.



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