Sky News British journalist Stuart Ramsay, Wounded in Ukraine
While reporting on the war in Ukraine, British journalist Stuart Ramsay was shot and injured. On Monday, February 28, Ramsay, Sky News’ chief correspondent, was driving along a freeway near Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, with camera operator Richie Mockler, producers Dominique Van Heerden and Martin Vowles, and local producer Andrii Lytvynenko when their car was ambushed by Russians, who pelted it with bullets.
The firing continued despite the Sky News team declaring that they were journalists. According to Ramsay, the group was later identified as a “saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad.”
Even as the bullets continued to fly, Vowles and Lytvynenko evacuated the car, while Ramsay, Van Heerden, and Mockler stayed inside. “We realized we had to get out to survive,” Ramsay says, “but the incoming fire was tremendous.”
Van Heerden crawled towards a motorway barrier before diving “down a 40-foot embankment, sliding to the bottom.” Ramsay was shot in the lower back by a bullet moments later while still in the car. Ramsay remembered, “What astonished me was that it didn’t hurt that severely.” “It felt like I was getting punched in the face.”
“It was strange, but I felt very calm. I managed to put my helmet on and was about to attempt my escape when I stopped and reached back into a shelf in the door and retrieved my phones and my press card, unbelievably. Richie says I then got out of the car and stood up, before jogging to the edge of the embankment and then started running. I lost my balance and fell to the bottom, landing like a sack of potatoes, cutting my face. My armor and helmet almost certainly saved me.”
Mockler, who was the last to exit the vehicle, was hit twice in the body armor. The five journalists saw a factory at the bottom of the embankment and used a concrete wall for protection. Three Ukrainians opened the door and allowed them to seek shelter. They called the Sky team in the United Kingdom to arrange for their removal from the country. Before Ukrainian police arrived the next day to take them back to Kyiv, the quintet spent the night in an office in the factory.
Ramsay, Vowles, Van Heerden, and Mockler have all returned to the United Kingdom, according to a Sky News source, while Lytvynenko has been reunited with his family in Lviv. Ramsay has written an eyewitness account of the ambush on Sky News’ website, despite Sky News’ refusal to comment on his current condition.