“We were hit.” Kherson, December 19, 1.47 pm. Niccolò Celesti, photographer, and Claudio Locatelli, journalist, are on board a car in the village of Antonivka. Niccolò is driving, while Claudio sits on the passenger side. They’re in Ukraine doing their job, documenting the war, when suddenly their vehicle is targeted by the Russian army. «We were hit – warns Locatelli on his Instagram profile -. The explosion you see damaged the car, we were blocked at gunpoint before being able to get to safety, I lost blood but the wound is minor».
At the time of the attack, the journalists were “in the village of Antonivka to witness the dramatic conditions of the elderly who have remained there despite the war”. In the video, posted on social media, the journalist shows the perforated car door right where the word “press” appears. «If the door hadn’t been there, we probably would have been hit in the body, luckily the bodywork of the car protected us and saved us from the splinters. We are miraculously cured», Locatelli underlines, showing his bloody ear: «I have a little blood on my neck but nothing serious». He then adds: “If I had opened the door I would be without a leg or worse.”
“What happened is a very serious fact: our car was intentionally hit by the Russian army”, underlines the journalist. In addition to the car, which was “well signposted”, “there was no one else – reports Locatelli -, given the place and dynamics, the attack on us was intentional. The shooting came from the bank beyond the Niprom there, where the Russian army is.’
«Firing in the press has no excuses – is the conclusion -. Luckily we are fine, we will continue to verify and report this conflict precisely in response to those who want to silence us, to those who try to slander and those who try to obscure our commitment in the field. No surrender”.