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602 crimes against the media and journalists in Ukraine committed by Russia in the two years and four months of the full-scale war

24.06.2024, 10:00

Russia committed 602 crimes against journalists and the media in Ukraine in the two years and four months since the start of the full-scale invasion.

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

In May – June of 2024 IMI recorded 3 crimes against the media and journalists committed by Russia: kidnapping two media workers and one media outlet shutting down due to Russia's war on Ukraine.

Russia's crimes against the media and journalists in Ukraine

Within the month, two more media workers have been killed in combat while defending Ukraine from Russia's aggression:

  • Iryna Tsybukh – paramedic with the Medical Volunteer Battalion "Hospitaliers". She was the regional broadcasting department manager at Suspilne and worked with Hromadske Radio as an editor and journalist. Iryna was killed in action in Kharkiv oblast on May 29.
  • Arsen Fedosenko – UAF captain, a photographer for the Media Center of the UAF Strategic Communications Department. He died in Kharkiv oblast on June 10 after being gravely wounded by a KAB.

As of June 24, a total of 82 media workers have died in Ukraine as a result of Russia's aggression, with 10 dying while reporting.

IMI also learned that the chat administrator of the Ukrainian Telegram channel "Melitopol is Ukraine", Vladyslav Hershon, has been in Russian detention since August 20, 2023. Vladyslav Hershon was detained in the occupied Melitopol  together with the administrators of the Telegram channel "RIA Melitopol". All Telegram admins detained on that day are being charged under multiple articles of Russia’s criminal code: public calls for terrorism, high treason, and espionage. They face 12 to 20 years in prison.

IMI also learned that Volodymyr Martynov, a journalist from Novoaidar (Luhansk oblast), was taken prisoner by the Russian occupiers in December 2022. Russian troops kidnapped him from his home on December 10, 2022. He was taken to Luhansk and kept "in a cellar" for 18 days. According to the journalist, no investigators visited him during this time, he was never interrogated or charged. He was never allowed to shower during the entire time. His cellmate and he had a bucket for a toilet, which would only be replaced when it was full. On December 28 he was taken to an unknown place and released. Volodymyr managed to get to his sister, and then went home to Novoaidar. He later left the occupied territory with some help. Now he lives in Pristina (Kosovo) on a program for Ukrainian journalists and works as a freelance reporter.

STS Broadcasting asked the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting to approve their temporary suspension of broadcasting during martial law. The decision had to do with the lack of advertising, the team downsizing due to the evacuation of some employees and mobilization. At least 235 Ukrainian media outlets had to shut down, relocate, or suspend broadcasting as a result of Russia's full-scale aggression.

Read more here.

The Institute of Mass Information (IMI) is a Ukrainian non-governmental media organization that has been operating since 1996. The IMI defends the rights of journalists, analyzes the media field and covers media-related events, fights propaganda and disinformation and has been providing media outlets with safety gear for trips to the combat zone since the start of the Russo–Ukrainian war in 2014.

The IMI carries out Ukraine's only freedom of speech monitoring and keeps a list of high quality and sustainable online media outlets, documents Russia's crimes against the media committed in the course of the war on Ukraine. The IMI has representatives in 20 oblasts of Ukraine and a network of "Mediabaza" hubs to provide journalists with continuous support. The IMI's partners include Reporters Without Borders and Freedom House; the organization is a member of the International Organization for the Protection of Freedom of Expression (IFEX).

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