MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian journalist for a Russian state-owned TV channel died Tuesday in eastern Ukraine after being wounded by mortar fire, the Rossiya 24 network said.
Correspondent Igor Kornelyuk, 37, died during surgery in a hospital after being wounded while on assignment in Luhansk. The whereabouts of the sound engineer with him at the time is still unknown, the network said.
Viktor Denisov, a cameraman working with Kornelyuk, said in a television broadcast that they were filming Ukrainian refugees fleeing the area north of the regional capital when mortar fire began. Denisov was not immediately next to Kornelyuk when he was wounded.
The deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russia separatist rebels and the government in Kiev has been raging for nearly two months. On Monday, new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pledged to propose a peace plan this week to bring a cease-fire to the east but said the porous border with Russia had to be secured first.
Ukraine accuses Russia of supporting the rebels and the United States and NATO say tanks and other heavy weapons have crossed from Russia into the hands of rebels in Ukraine.
Russia has rejected the claims it has sent any weapons or troops, and the rebels said a few tanks they had were seized from Ukrainian forces.
Cash-strapped Ukraine is due receive 500 million euros ($680 million) on Tuesday from the European Union to help stabilize the country and shore up its ailing economy. EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn said the loan is “a further concrete sign of European solidarity.”
The money from the 28-nation bloc is part of a wider EU package aimed at helping Ukraine reform its economy to boost growth and increase jobs.
The EU sent Ukraine 100 million euros ($1.35 million) last month and has another 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) lined up for it, provided Ukraine meets milestones on economic and financial reforms.
Juergen Baetz in Brussels contributed to this report.