Assignment Ukraine: My films

When the war in Ukraine began, I saw the reports, and I knew that eventually I would end up there. I am a news cameraman and this was the biggest story in the world. But I was scared.

The scale of the war was much bigger than any conflicts I had ever covered before. The Russian weaponry was next level and the danger seemed to be immense.

But despite my misgivings, I have now been twice. Once in April and again in June 2022. Both times I was based in Kyiv but I have traveled beyond the capital including 48 hours embedded with a team of medics near to Kharkiv (that was for a documentary which I will write about soon).

In April I worked with the wonderful BBC correspondent Mark Lowen, and we made numerous films including these below. It took days of careful negotiating to access these Ukrainian dug-in positions on the edge of Kyiv, but the final film is one that I am very proud of.

We then covered Orthodox Easter. I find filming in places of worship to be very fulfilling – the iconography, the theatre, the emotions.

During this visit, I was also part of the team that filmed the BBC’s interview with President Volodymyr Zelensky. We were invited to the presidential palace and after passing multiple rings of tight security we finally met the man himself. He was as slick, professional and as friendly as you would expect for a former actor and comedian.

Here I am mic’ing up the president for our interview.

I returned to Kyiv again in June 2022. I split my time between working on a documentary and also news coverage with colleague Joe Inwood. I filmed and edited the news report below about the work of the HALO Trust.

I will share my documentary with the rock band Antytila in the next post.

I am sure I will be back in Ukraine again soon. I have mixed feelings – I enjoy the work and I welcome being at the centre of the BBC’s coverage, but only a crazy person enjoys and searches for danger.

I am not sure how crazy I am anymore. Age and being a dad are convincing me that war coverage is not the most important aspect of this job.

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