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548 crimes against the media and journalists committed by Russia in the year and ten months of the big war

24.12.2023, 10:00
Photo by Vadreams
Photo by Vadreams

In the year and ten months since the start of the full-scale invasion Russia has committed 548 crimes against journalists and the media in Ukraine.

This is evidenced by the monthly monitoring "Freedom of Speech Barometer" by the Institute of Mass Information.

In November–December, the IMI recorded five freedom of speech violations committed by Russia: death threats, wounding journalists, cyberattacks and Ukrainian broadcasting being disabled as a result of Russian shelling.

In total, from the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the occupiers have killed 70 journalists, 10 of whom died while reporting.

In November, Oleksandr Popov, a former cameraman for "Suspilne Mykolaiv", was killed in action. He was defending Ukraine as part of the separate amphibious assault brigade No. 95. He died near Kupyansk (Kharkiv oblast) on November 22. According to IMI, Oleksandr Popov is the 70th media worker to die as a result of Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

Digital broadcasting in Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk oblast, has been unavailable for over three months due to Russian shelling. The radio has been working intermittently. The locals can only learn the news when Internet connection is available. In her comment to the regional IMI representative, the representative of the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast, Olena Demchenko, noted that they are aware of the problem. She says that in the morning of December 18, a drone hit the tower again and dislodged three antennas. Earlier, Suspilne Dnipro reported that the Russians are targeting the telecom equipment and firing at repair crews. Moreover, the Russian television signal reaches Nikopol. Nikopol has been under daily fire throughout the full-scale invasion.

The Dnipro online media outlet "Dnipro Operatyvny" received three messages claiming that explosives have been planted at their office. Such were sent to the editorial inbox on December 15, 16, and 17.

According to the editor-in-chief Olesya Antoshkina, the team always calls the police, but the messages are usually false. The editor believes these messages have to do with the Russians.

Donetsk and Luhansk online media outlet "Skhidmy Variant" has suffered a cyber attack: their Instagram account was blocked over the last two months. The editorial team believes it's a Russian bot attack aimed at interfering with their reporting. "Seeing as our website has been subjected to regular DDoS-attacks, we conclude this is the Russian bots' next attempt to undermine our work covering Russia's crimes in Ukraine," the editors said.

The Kharkiv media outlet GWARA MEDIA received an email from a supposed SBU employee asking them to file a request for information and provide a written response. There was a "" archive attached to the email. At the same time, the fact of mass mailing of letters with identical content was recorded by the Ukraine's State Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA), which the State Special Communications Service cites, recorded identical letters being mass mailed around the same time. Experts at CERT-UA note that such emails are part of a Russian hacker attack on the mobile operator Kyivstar.

Vlada Liberova, an Ukrinform photographer and program co-host, was wounded in Donetsk oblast. She and her husband came under Russian fire while driving towards Avdiivka. According to her, she took an examination, which showed that a fragment four centimeters large got into the soft tissues of her body; now she cannot move on her own.

Read more here.

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