Humeniuk explains under what conditions journalists may be allowed to work in the "red zone"
The division of the front line and the border areas into three working zones for journalists will be revised weekly. The issue of granting the media access to any specific spot in the "red zone" for covering a situation that requires it will also be considered promptly.
The head of the Khortytsia OSTU press service, Captain Illya Yevlash, the head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Ukraine Defense Forces, 1st Rank Captain Natalia Humeniuk, and the assistant commander of the UAF Joint Forces, Colonel Yevheniy Sylkin, shared this with ArmyInform.
According to Illya Yevlash, the reason for this move is operational security: "That is, there may be certain operations that require journalists to be absent from an area for a certain time, or it may be due to active hostilities ongoing in the area of operations, which means a high risk of injury or death for journalists."
"The zones will be reviewed every week. For example, if this week a municipality is assigned to the 'red zone', next week it may be moved to the 'yellow zone'. The zones may also be introduced immediately. For example, if the situation on the ground suddenly changes in some place, then the 'red zone' may be introduced there at once," Yevlash noted.
As noted by Natalia Humeniuk, the revision of zones will also depend on the shifts in the situation on the ground.
"We will also respond to situations that require immediate coverage. That is, we reserve the JFU Commander's right to promptly consider granting journalists access to a specific area, even if it is in the 'red zone', for objectively covering the situation and sharing it with the global community, if need be," Humeniuk stressed.
In addition, the military cannot protect journalists in some areas bordering Russia and Belarus, which are being shelled often, noted Colonel Yevheniy Sylkin, the assistant commander of the UAF Joint Forces:
"Therefore, journalists can not freely move there. And at times when there is shelling, we do not permit journalists to work. Only after the shelling ends do we allow journalists to enter, accompanied by officers."
As IMI reported, on February 27, UAF Commander-in-Chief's Decree No. 73 regarding engagement with the mass media during martial law was amended. According to the changes, journalists will only receive accreditation for a period of up to six months, and the frontline area will now be divided into three access zones for media workers.
Earlier, representatives of the media community proposed to create a task force at the President's Office to improve the way their engagement with the military is regulated, and submitted their proposals on improving communication between journalists and the military to the UAF General Staff.
On March 20, the Donetsk Oblast Military Administration outlined the three zones for journalists of accredited media outlets in region – the "red", the "yellow" and the "green".
The three zones were also outlined in the areas under the jurisdiction of the operational and strategic group of troops "Odesa".
On March 20, the Media Movement, as well as Ukrainian and foreign journalists called the new excessive restrictions on the work of the media during martial law unacceptable and called for an immediate resolution of the situation with access to coverage of the hostilities and their consequences.
The international human rights organization "Reporters Without Borders" called on the Ukrainian authorities to lift the restrictions on journalists' access to covering the hostilities as well.
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