As with any major military conflict, there are a number of brave war correspondents and combat journalists on the ground in Ukraine to provide firsthand accounts of that nation’s defense against the Russian invasion.
That is obviously an inherently dangerous job, as CNN reporter Matthew Chance was reminded of Monday when he realized during a live report that he was crouched next to an unexploded grenade, the Washington Examiner reported.
Unexploded ordinance in aftermath of battle
Chance was surveying the scene of death and destruction on a bridge northwest of Kyiv where a Russian armored column advancing toward the capital city had reportedly been repelled by Ukrainian forces equipped with Western-supplied anti-tank weapons just hours earlier.
Some of the vehicle remnants were still smoldering and smoking and there were all sorts of debris and equipment — and even a few dead bodies — scattered amongst the charred wreckage on the bridge, including numerous unexploded “pineapple” grenades.
At one point in his report, Chance stood up from a crouch and rather nonchalantly observed, “I was just crouching down near a grenade there, so let’s move away from that,” before seamlessly continuing on with his live report.
Accidentally ran into Russian troops on first day
This actually wasn’t the CNN reporter’s first close brush with potential death in his coverage of the invasion, as Chance had actually accidentally run into a Russian Special Forces unit at an airport outside Kyiv on the first day of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
In that particular instance, the journalist had followed a tip from Ukrainians about fighting to successfully reclaim control of the airport and rushed to the scene, only to find out in a face-to-face conversation that the Russians were still there and maintaining a perimeter around the facility in anticipation of an approaching Ukrainian counterattack.
“I said, ‘Where are they then?'” Chance described later of his encounter with the soldiers. “He said, ‘We’re the Russians.’ We were like, what? We had no idea. The whole complexion changed. Suddenly, I realized we’d stumbled upon the advance position of Russian special airborne forces who had been deployed a couple of hours ago to take the airport.”
“I don’t think I’d ever driven so confidently up to a Russian checkpoint as I did today,” he added. “We didn’t realize they were Russians, of course. It could have gone, in retrospect, not very well.”
The AP report went on to quote other war correspondents about the constant confusion and great risks they face in attempting to deliver timely and accurate reports on the progress of the war, and regardless of what one may think of the media broadly speaking, these combat reporters deserve and earn respect for their courage and tenacity under immense pressure and grave danger.