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540 crimes against journalists and media committed by by Russia in the year and 8 months of the big war

24.10.2023, 10:00
Photos: Yuriy Butusov, Mykola Strizhyk on Facebook
Photos: Yuriy Butusov, Mykola Strizhyk on Facebook

In the year and eight months since the start of the full-scale invasion Russia has committed 540 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine.

This is evidenced by the Monitoring of Russian Crimes against Journalists and Media carried out by the Institute of Mass Information.

In September–October 2023, IMI recorded four freedom of speech violations committed by Russia: abduction, firing at reporters, cyber crimes and destroying a media office.

Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukriane the occupiers have killed a total of 68 journalists, 10 of whom died while reporting.

In September two journalists were killed in action: Volodymyr Myronyuk and Andriy Kryshtal.

Photographer Volodymyr Myronyuk was killed in action near Kurdyumivka (Donetsk oblast). He is the 67th media worker to die as a result of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. Myronyuk was a Ukrainian, but lived in the US and had the American citizenship. He was both fighting and a working as a photographer. 

Journalist and soldier Andriy Kryshtal died on September 27 in a Lviv hospital where he was recovering from a wound received on the front line. He was severely wounded while performing a combat mission in the east. He was the editor-in-chief of the "Samooborona" newspaper since 2015 and the CEO of the public organization "Avtohham" and the International Charity Foundation "Kryshtal".

In October it was reported that Ukainian journalist Victoria Roshchyna has gone missing while making a trip to the occupied territories. Her family and friends have not heard from her since August 3, when she was traveling to Russian-occupied territory. According to the journalist's father, Roshchyna set off from Ukraine to Poland on July 27 and was expected to reach Russian-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine—via Russia—three days later. When they spoke to her on August 3 she told them she had made it through days of border checks but did not tell them exactly where she was. The SBU confirmed to the parents that Victoria has been taken prisoner by the Russians.

In Kharkiv, a filming crew for the Portuguese channel RTP came under fire in the October 6 shelling attack; the crew's car was severely damaged. According to RTP's Ukrainian producer Andriy Kovalenko, the crew had planned to film a report on the SES demining work and go to Hroza village, where 51 people were previously killed by Russian shelling. He noted that their team consists of three people: him and the Portuguese RTP reporter and cameraman. They were intact.

On the same day in Kharkiv, the Russians destroyed the ATN office. As editor Maryna Nikolayeva told IMI, the shock wave affected the newsroom and the advertising department the most. The team has been working remotely since the start of the full-scale invasion, realizin that there was a high probability that the house would come under fire, since it is downtown. However, their equipment, computers, and communications remained in the office.

The Odesa media outlet "Intent" reported a Russian DDoS attack on their website. The page was down for half an hour. As editor-in-chief Valeriy Bolhan told the IMI representative in Odesa oblast, it took this long for cyber security experts to repel the attack and protect the website managing features from being accessed. The editors believe this incident is related to their reporting.

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