Four years ago today, photographer Alexander Klimchuk was covering the outbreak of the Georgian-Russian war when he was shot and killed near a South Ossetian checkpoint in the breakaway republic’s capital Tskhinvali. The photos contained in this photo essay are intended to celebrate his life and his all-too-brief, but bright, career as a photojournalist.
Alexander was born in 1981. Even before graduating in 2003 from Tbilisi State University with a degree in journalism, he displayed a talent for photography. Before long he was a much sought-after news photographer, working for such media outlets as Komsomolskaya Pravda, ITAR-TASS, Eye of Georgia and EurasiaNet.org. He was also a photographer for UNICEF and the Nodar Dumbadze Central State Children’s Theater in Tbilisi.
In 2006, he co-founded his own photo agency, Caucasus Press Images.
He was a three-time winner of ITAR-TASS’s Best Photos of the Year and received a first-place prize in the 2007 Russian press photo contest “People in the News.”
The day he was killed Klimchuk was working for ITAR-TASS. He and a colleague, Giga Chikladze, a freelancer on assignment for Russian Newsweek, were trying to get to Tskhinvali, when, in darkness and confusion, South Ossetian militia members opened fire on them.
In all, four journalists were killed while covering the conflict.
The images presented here are a tribute to Alexander not only as a photojournalist, but as a person. Thank you for all you gave of yourself, Alexander. You are missed.