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567 freedom of speech violations recorded by IMI in 2022. Over 80% committed by Russia

09.01.2023, 15:36

IMI experts recorded 567 freedom of speech violations in Ukraine in 2022. Of these, 470 violations were committed by Russia in the course of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

These are the annual results of IMI's monitoring survey "Freedom of Speech Barometer".

The Russian crimes committed on Ukrainian territory include murder, kidnapping, firing at and wounding journalists, attacks on TV towers, threats, attacks on media offices, cybercrimes, shutting down Ukrainian broadcasting, as well as brand theft and creating fake clones of local publications and channels to spread Russian aggressive propaganda. Furthermore, due to the full-scale war, at least 216 media outlets had to cease their work. This happened not only in the areas affected by the hostilities or occupation, but also in the relatively quiet parts of the country, due to the financial crisis caused by the war.

According to IMI, the Russians killed 43 media workers on Ukrainian territory in 2022. Eight of them were killed in the line of duty, and 35 died as combatants or fell victim to Russian shelling, not in the course of their journalist work.

The freedom of speech situation in Ukraine for which Ukrainian citizens are responsible

Last year, IMI recorded 97 cases of freedom of speech violation for which the Ukrainian side was responsible. This number is significantly lower than in 2021 and 2020. For comparison: in 2021, IMI recorded 197 violations of freedom of speech, and in 2020 there were 229 such cases.

In 2022, the violations for which Ukrainian citizens are responsible fell into the following main categories: obstruction of legal journalistic activities (32 cases), restricting access to public information and cybercrime (21 cases each). One of the year's most prominent violations was the shutdown of the "Pryamiy", Channel 5, and "Espresso" in the digital network T2.

In total, violations of freedom of speech were recorded in 19 oblasts of the country last year. In terms of numbers, Kyiv city and Kyiv oblast traditionally ranked first (32 cases). The second place was taken by Poltava oblast (12 cases), third – by Lviv oblast (8), fourth – by Rivne oblast (6) and Dnipropetrovsk oblast (5).

Most often, the journalists' right to profession was violated by private individuals, state and local self-government bodies, law enforcers, judicial authorities, etc.

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