Clive Myrie has opened up on the moment viewers spotted a ‘single tear’ fall down his face during a live report from Ukraine, saying that while it was an ’emotional day’, the wind ‘blew across his face’.
On Thursday 24 February, the day that Russia invaded Ukraine, Myrie presented BBC News at 10, updating viewers on the latest attacks launched under the orders of Vladimir Putin.
At one point in the report, a tear could be seen falling down the news reporter’s cheek, prompting several people on Twitter to share their support for the 57-year-old, with one writing: ‘Seeing Clive Myrie cry on the BBC news will stay with me for some time.’
While speaking on the Behind the Headlines podcast with Headlines Network, the Mastermind host was asked about the widely-reported moment in question, saying that ‘it had been an emotional day, no question about that’.
‘I’d flown into Kyiv something like 15, 16 hours… actually probably less than that, 12 hours before the invasion began. So I saw for a sliver of time what the city was like before hostilities began,’ he recollected.
‘The capital was bustling, it’s quite a young population in the centre of the city, great restaurants, people all out, the sun was shining, it was a beautiful day.’
Myrie said that when the war began, it reminded him of other conflicts the Russian military had been involved in in the past, leading him to foresee that ‘it was going to be a horrible, horrible war’.
The day before, he had witnessed the ‘lively bustling city’ and ‘a confident young country’, which made for a striking contrast when the invasion began.
He continued: ‘It had been an emotional day, and I was standing on the rooftop of the hotel where we were broadcasting and it was frankly windy, it was windy.
‘The wind blew across my face and through my eyes and a single tear came out. So I’m not saying that I was crying for Ukraine, because the wind was blowing. What I will say is that it was an emotional day, and that’s it.’
On the podcast, Myrie emphasised that in his opinion, he regards it as ‘nonsense’ when journalists are seen as ‘heroes’.
‘We’re not trying to be heroes. We’re just doing our job,’ he said, adding that ‘no story is worth dying for’.
While discussing what it’s like going into a war zone in his line of work, which he described as a ‘free choice’, he said: ‘It’s vital that you are not compelled to work in a hostile environment, because if you are not feeling comfortable in yourself in that kind of stressful situation then that’s when you start, potentially, making mistakes.’
On the same day that BBC News viewers noticed Myrie shed a tear during his report, he and his colleague Lyse Doucet, chief international correspondent for the BBC, changed into flak jackets as a safety precaution after hearing air raid sirens.
Following his broadcast being interrupted by a siren, he said that ‘anything can happen’ in a warzone, telling PA news agency that his first responsibility is ‘to the viewers’ to provide comprehensive reports on the Russian invasion.