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509 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine committed by Russia in a year and two months of the war

24.04.2023, 09:00
Cover by the IMI
Cover by the IMI

In the year and two months since the start of the full-scale invasion, Russia has committed 509 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine.

This evidenced by the Russian War Crimes Monitoring carried out by the Institute of Mass Information.

During the fourteenth month of the war, IMI recorded four freedom of speech violations committed by Russia. Namely, these include a shelling attack on the office of the Mayak newspaper in Kherson oblast and instances of cybercrime: the spread of forged Ukrainian media pages with fake news on them.

During the fourteenth month of the war, three media workers who defended Ukraine from the Russian invaders were killed on the frontline:

Oleksandr Tsakhniv, 37, died while defending a position on the Bakhmut axis. Oleksandr had gone to fight on the front line at the start of the full-scale invasion. At "Vchasno", he covered corruption in Donetsk municipalities, conducted anti-corruption investigations. Oleksandr went to fight on the front line at the start of the full-scale invasion. He died while defending a position on the Bakhmut axis while it was under the enemy's fire. Oleksandr is survived by his parents, brother, and wife.

Andriy Boyko, former cameraman at the Ivano-Frankivsk TRC "Vezha", soldier. Killed by the enemy's fire near Hulyaipole (Zaporizhia oblast) on April 6. Andriy voluntarily enlisted the Armed Forces in the first days of the full-scale war and served as the commander of the Dmytro Vitovsky Separate Brigade 102.

Vladyslav Dzikovsky, "Detector Media" system administrator, private, senior armored vehicle machine gunner who served in the Serhiy Kulchytsky operational battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine, was killed in Luhansk oblast in December 2022. 

The Russians shelled the office of the "Mayak" newspaper in Beryslav, Kherson oblast. According to the newspaper's editor, Dmytro Tertychny, the projectile destroyed the roof of the building. He says without an immediate intervention, the building will soon become unusable.

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported fake websites and online pages that mimicked their interface and logos and distributed disinformation.

Namely, a fake website imitating the online publication "Ukrainian Pravda" has appeared on the Internet and featured a fake column by the journalist, military officer Pavlo Kazarin. The "Ukrainian Pravda" contacted the SBU with a request to take action and believes that this is a Russian psyop aimed at discrediting the army and subverting trust in the Ukrainian leadership, both military and political.

The online media Obozrevatel reported that fake news about "the allies betraying us" were being distributed under their name. The fake posts purportedly by the Obozrevatel were being promoted on Facebook via paid-for advertising feature. The media outlet believes this to be a Russian psyop as well and has contacted the Security Service of Ukraine to take appropriate action.

Another media outlet, the Ukrinform, has reported that Russian propagandists were sharing a fake news report mimicking Ukrinform on social media. The fake news, designed to mimic the Ukrinform's layout, says that Ukraine has registered a draft bill banning taking photos and video at cemeteries, citing the Parliament's website as the source. Yet, the Ukrinform noted that this news was a fake and there has been no such report on their website.

The full list of Russia's crimes against media is available here.

The list of journalists killed by Russia's aggression is available here.

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