Russian airstrike explodes behind reporter in huge fireball during live TV news

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French journalist Paul Gasnier was nearly struck by a Russian missile while reporting in Ukraine (Image: TMC)
French journalist Paul Gasnier was nearly struck by a Russian missile while reporting in Ukraine (Image: TMC)

Viewers were left fearing the worst after a Russian airstrike landed directly behind a news reporter while he was live on air.

French journalist Paul Gasnier was interrupted by a huge blast while delivering a broadcast from the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk in Ukraine on Sunday.

In a terrifying clip from television channel TMC he is seen speaking to the camera before quickly diving for cover as the missile explodes directly to his rear, with the bright red glow of the explosion clearly visible.

The television feed then cuts back to the studio of the 20:15 Express show in Paris, where one member of the audience can be seen with his mouth open in shock.

Russian airstrike explodes behind reporter in huge fireball during live TV news eideeidediqxzinvFootage shows the live news report being abruptly cut short after a bright explosion (TMC)

Mr Gasnier and the camera crew are reported to have escaped uninjured, while a reporter from German newspaper Bild suffered a shrapnel injury from the explosion.

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On Tuesday, the Russian military acknowledged strikes on the Ukrainian cities of Kramatorsk and Druzhkivka, which is also in the Donetsk region.

The Defence Ministry claimed it destroyed four HIMARS rocket launchers, a claim which has not yet been independently verified.

Russian airstrike explodes behind reporter in huge fireball during live TV newsMr Gasnier and an accompanying camera crew were later reported to have escaped uninjured (TMC)

Ukraine’s chief security service meanwhile confirmed yesterday it would bring charges against two high-ranking Russian commanders accused of attacks on civilians.

The Security Service of Ukraine said on its website that it had collected a "high-quality body of evidence" against commander of Russia ’s long-range aviation force Sergei Kobylash, and Igor Osipov, the former head of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The pair have now been charged under Ukrainian law with violating the territorial integrity of the country and “planning, preparing, initiating and conducting a war of aggression,” which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

It is the first time that such charges have been brought against Russian military officers, although it is unlikely that Kyiv will be able to bring either men to trial at any point in the near future.

Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

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