The correspondents on the ground covering the crisis in Ukraine

The nation’s leading news networks have corespondents on the ground covering the Russian military’s continued assault on Ukraine, which began in full force overnight Wednesday.

Several of the network’s most touted foreign correspondents, military embeds and war reporters have spent much of the last several days in Eastern Europe as Russian troops amassed on the Ukrainian border and western intelligence officials warned of an impending attack. 

Those warnings came to fruition late Wednesday night, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a major “military operation” in Ukraine, prompting several of the nation’s largest broadcasters to break in with live coverage of the unfolding crisis. 

Here is a sample of who is on the ground in Ukraine and what they are reporting. 

Richard Engel, Erin McLaughlin for NBC

McLaughlin delivered a live report from Kyiv late on Wednesday, during which she told viewers she and the network’s team in the Ukrainian Capital city began hearing blasts late Wednesday night. 

“We’re hearing explosions on all sides of the location that I am standing,” she said of the blasts which began before 6am local time. “People waking up to their windows shaking here.” 

Engel, a longtime foreign correspondent for NBC, reported from Mariupol, situated not far from where Russian troops have been exchanging mortar fire with Ukrainian opposition forces. 

“There is a sense of tragedy, there is a great fear here. People do not know what is coming,” he said. “Yes there are those who are determined to stay and fight for their nation … and there are those who simply don’t have any other choice.” 

Before relocating to Mariupol, Engel had spent the last several days reporting from a trench in the Donbas region of Ukraine, with rockets between Russian forces and Ukrainian military flying overhead. 

Clarissa Ward, Matthew Chance for CNN

Ward and Chance are two of the several reporters CNN has stationed in Ukraine covering the ongoing invasion. 

Chance was broadcast live on CNN’s air Wednesday evening putting a flak jacket on as rocket fire erupted in the background of his live shot from Kyiv. 

“I just heard a big bang right here behind me,” Chance said before putting the jacket on. “The United States has warned the Ukrainians that it is possible there could be airstrikes … I don’t remember anything like this in the years that I’ve been coming to Kyiv and reporting from here.” 

Ward gave a report Thursday morning from a subway station in the city of Kharkiv where hundreds of people, children and animals were hiding from Russian airstrikes, unsure of what happens next. 

“I talked to a woman upstairs who was crying because of her sense of panic and fear and desperation. Not knowing where they can go and what they can do,” Ward said. “But how long can people stay here without any sense of what’s going to happen?” 

Steve Harrigan and Trey Yingst for Fox News

Harrigan and Yingst have been leading Fox’s coverage on the ground of the developing invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. 

“The real question in this is how far is Vladimir Putin going to go? He declared an operation in Eastern Ukraine and yet here in the Capital City Kyiv, six hours away, we are hearing explosions. So is this capital city of 3 million people part of the attack or not? Or is it simply going to be surrounded and sealed off? Right now what we can only imagine in the darkness is that key points in the city are being hit. Communications, airports, defense ministry, police,” Harrigan, a veteran foreign corespondent said on Wednesday night. “Certainly a terrifying night for people here. Ukrainians, many of them in disbelief that they could be fighting with their neighbor, many relatives, families intertwined, and yet it’s come to this.” 

Yingst, clad in a helmet and flak jacket late Wednesday night said Russia has been using the “type of weaponry that will likely be used against large cities in this country.” 

“We are looking at things from cruise missiles to ballistic missiles and ground troops in Ukraine. We know that there were 200,000 Russian forces on Ukraine’s border,” Yingst said. “This was really the worst case scenario that everyone was talking about. Ukraine getting hit from multiple different angles. The fact is, this country, while they were preparing for the possibility of a Russian invasion, it’s always been very clear that this level of a sustained attack in multiple different locations around the country just simply would not be able to be defendable for the Ukrainian military.” 

Holly Williams and Charlie D’Agata for CBS News 

Several of the major networks broke into regularly scheduled programming once the shelling began on Wednesday night. Among them was CBS News, which broadcast a special report with leading anchor Norah O’Donnell. 

Live on the ground in Kyiv, reported Charlie D’Agata told CBS viewers he could hear fighter jets and loud explosions overhead. 

D’Agata was seen live on air ducking as a fighter jet flew overhead during his live shot. 

Holly Williams, who is stationed in Kharkivare said on Thursday morning there are “grave fears that this could end up being the biggest land war in Europe since World War II.” 

“It was just minuted between President Putin appearing on Russian state TV … and the missile strikes landing around Kyiv,” Williams reported. 


Tags CBS News CNN embedded journalists Fox News invasion Kyiv NBC Russia–Ukraine relations Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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