HOTLINE(050) 447-70-63
We are available 24/7
Leave your contact details
and we contact you
Thank you for reaching out

Or contact us:

[email protected]

(050) 447-70-63

File a complaint

Journalists say Natalya Humeniuk interferes with Russian war crimes coverage, call for her dismissal

16.04.2024, 18:32
Natalya Humeniuk, whose dismissal the journalists demand. Photo by Mykola Myakyshov, UNIAN
Natalya Humeniuk, whose dismissal the journalists demand. Photo by Mykola Myakyshov, UNIAN

Multiple media workers have said Natalya Humeniuk barred them from covering Russia's war crimes in the area she supervises. They demand that the military command replace Natalya Humeniuk "with a more competent person and keep her out of communications management of any kind," according to the media workers' address to the Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky, Ukraine's Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov and the Chief of the UAF General Staff Anatoliy Barhylevych.

"We are convinced that a person who manages an OSG's communications in wartime must be able to adequately and professionally interact with the media, understand the extreme importance of covering frontline developments, the need to document and report on Russia's crimes, and in no case set unwarranted restrictions that hinder the work of journalists," the address reads.

The media workers also demand to ensure journalists' access to the key districts of the Kherson oblast and the neighboring regions, in compliance with the requirements of the UAF Commander-in-Chief's Decree No. 73.

"These territories have been kept off-limits by Natalya Humeniuk for an unreasonably long time, which has caused irreparable informational harm for Ukraine," the media workers say.

The Institute of Mass Information provides the full address:


To the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky

the Minister of Defense of Ukraine

Rustem Umerov

the GS Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Major General Anatoliy Barhylevych

The Russians are incessantly attacking the Kherson oblast: destroying Kherson, turning Beryslav into rubble, while the Ukrainian army is steadfastly repelling their attacks. But Ukrainians and the world see neither the former nor the latter.

They see the Ukrainian military defending Chasiv Yar and the Russians destroying it. They see the Ukrainian army holding Kupyansk and the surrounding villages as the Russians are trying to destroy them.

Why is covering the battles for those cities, and not the events in the Kherson oblast, "more interesting" for journalists?

Because there is no Natalya Humeniuk in the east, but there is one in the south. Because the eastern axis has the OSG "Khortytsia", whose press officers have been professionally performing their tasks for two years, being a bridge between the army and the society. They contribute to the delivery of frontline reporting within the limits that do not harm the security of operations. And they do not interfere with the coverage of Russia's crimes.

The press officers of the OSG "Tavria" had also been performing this work until recently, when group reformation put Mrs. Humeniuk in charge of "Tavria".

We see the faces of the defenders of the Donetsk oblast, Luhansk oblast, Kharkiv oblast, and Zaporizhzhia, but we are not seeing the faces of the Kherson oblast defenders. In the Kherson oblast, we see only Mrs. Humeniuk.

Journalists have managed to report on Russia's war crimes mostly by circumventing the restrictions established in the area under Mrs. Humeniuk's jurisdiction, and without her assistance.

The most egregious case was the ban on entry into the flooded towns and villages of the Kherson oegion on the day of the Kakhovka HPP explosion – then the global media were flooded with references to the Russian "war correspondents", because there was little to no information coming from us.

Later, Mrs. Humeniuk barred journalists from recording the hardships Ukrainians were facing in the villages which had no water due to the HPP explosion or filming the bottom of the dried up reservoir.

Before that, journalists had to drive through minefields to the newly liberated villages in the Kherson oblast and Mykolaiv oblast in order to report on the Russian war crimes while the world was most curious to know about them. Obtaining official permission to enter these villages by legal means through checkpoints within a reasonable timeframe was impossible.

The rescue services of the Kherson oblast were denied the right to take journalists with them as they set out to address the aftermath of the Russian crimes in Beryslav.

Antonivka, Daryivka and part of Kherson (Korabelny district and "Ostriv"), where people also suffer from Russian shelling, are off limits, too.

In contrast to other areas of the front line, there is no access to hospitals and stabilization points where wounded soldiers and civilians are treated in Kherson oblast.

Despite the Commander-in-Chief's official explanation on which facilities and troop deployment areas belong to the "red zone", the OSG "South" communications department designated all the communities located on the Dnipro river and the Black Sea as "red"; the media were forced to comply with these self-made "rules" for a year and a half.

Since this is the communication policy developed by Mrs. Humeniuk, the brigades offer war correspondents to work in the "Potemkin trenches" dozens of kilometers away from the real front line. Of course, such imitation is unacceptable for most media outlets, so they choose other frontline areas where they can do their job normally.

The favourite word in the communications department of the Southern Defense Forces is "forbidden".

The person who prevented the coverage of Russia's crimes, who does not allow journalists to showcase the brave defenders of the Kherson oblast, who is unable to explain to the command of her frontline segment why the people should see not only her face, but also the faces of the soldiers and why the world should witness Russian war crimes promptly, cannot continue to manage communications.

She "scared" journalists away from her area, which diverted the society's attention from it. This affects both the oblast's defense capabilities and the international aid to the communities of the region.

Our demands:

  • Replace Natalya Humeniuk with a more competent person and keep her out of communications management of any kind. We are convinced that a person who manages an OSG's communications in wartime must be able to adequately and professionally interact with the media, understand the extreme importance of covering frontline developments, the need to document and report on Russia's crimes, and in no case set unwarranted restrictions that hinder the work of journalists.
  • Ensure journalists' access to the districts of the Kherson oblast and the neighboring regions where key events are taking place, in compliance with the requirements of the UAF Commander-in-Chief's Decree No. 73. These territories have been kept off-limits by Natalya Humeniuk for an unreasonably long time, which has caused irreparable informational harm for Ukraine.
  • Revise the current rules of the OC "South" press centers and the newly created joint OSG "Tavria" (formerly OSG "Odesa" and OSG "Tavria"), whose operations could be harmed by Natalya Humeniuk's recent appointment. It is important to review the current rules and procedures of the military formations' press offices in order to avoid excessive and unwarranted control and restrictions that prevent the coverage and documentation of events which are crucial for Ukraine.
  • Please take action to ensure that journalists do not have to write another letter explaining the inadmissibility of Hanna Malyar being in charge of any communication structures of the Defense Forces. Persons in key communications positions must have the appropriate skills and reputation to perform their duties as the times require, especially in wartime.

You can sign the address here.

The address was signed by:

  1. Ukrainian Media Association "Media Movement"
  2. NGO "Detector Media"
  3. Oksana Romaniuk, Institute of Mass Information
  4. Anna Kalyuzhna, Bihus.Info
  5. Anastasia Fedchenko, journalist
  6. Oleksandr Motornyi, TSN journalist, 1+1
  7. Olha Omelyanchuk, Reporters
  8. Anton Skyba, photojournalist
  9. Natalya Sokolenko, journalist
  10. Anastasia Stanko, Slidstvo.Info editor-in-chief
  11. Hromadske;
  12. Online media outlet "Svidomi"
  13. Natalya Nahorna, TSN, 1+1
  14. Oleh Kornienko, ICTV
  15. "Nakypilo" Media Group
  16. Azad Safarov, Sky News
  17. Serhiy Nikitenko, "MOST"
  18. Kamila Hrabchuk, freelance journalist and producer with Ukrainian and foreign media, author of the YouTube channel "LYUDY"
  19. Stas Kozliuk, freelance reporter
  20. Yevheniy Vasylyev, photojournalist
  21. Pavlo Yurov, local producer with France 2, AFP
  22. Konstantin Liberov, documentary photographer with LIBKOS
  23. Vlada Liberova, documentary photographer with LIBKOS
  24. Oleksandra Malevych, Suspilne. Mykolaiv editor-in-chief
  25. Victoria Sybir, Sunday Times local producer
  26. Anastasia Horpynchenko, "Slidstvo.Info" journalist
  27. Diana Zubar, Suspilne Odesa editor-in-chief
  28. Olha Kotyuzhanska, freelance producer for foreign media
  29. Dmytro Lyashko, local producer
  30. Olena Maksymenko, freelance journalist
  31. Yvhenia Maltsan, United24 Media journalist
  32. Victoria Lakezyna, journalist, fixer
  33. Olha Kyrylenko, "Ukrainian Pravda" war correspondent
  34. Tatyana Yaremenko, Suspilne. Kherson editor-in-chief
  35. Darya Litovchenko, war correspondent with the State-Owned Company "International Multimedia Broadcasting Platform of Ukraine"
  36. Albina Lvutina, journalist, producer for foreign media.
  37. Ruslan Fedotov, foreign media producer, Fuji TV fixer, RSI Zee Upitis, documentarist, Latvia/UK
  38. Nikita Ilchenko, journalist with United24 Media
  39. Potapenko Roman, journalist with
  40. Kateryna Hatsenko, local producer, fixer and freelance journalist for foreign media
  41. Yuriy Stefanyak, photojournalist
  42. Oleh Baturyn, journalist with the Center for Investigative Journalism
  43. Marharyta Burkovska, field producer with foreign media
  44. Nicole Goldman, Voice of America Local Producer, PBS Newshour
  45. Vyacheslav Ratynskyi, photojournalist
  46. Dmytro Kozhuhovsky, producer with United24 Media
  47. Dmytro Larin, photojournalist
  48. Albina Karman, journalist.
  49. Alina Yevych, war correspondent
  50. Kyrylo Sirchenko, fixer and reporter with Ouest France
  51. Hanna Balchinos, journalist
  52. DeepStateUA team
  53. Ivan Antypenko, journalist
  54. Oksana Leuta, local producer with France 2, Le Monde
  55. Dmytro Valeriyovych Chaika, fixer, cameraman
  56. Sofia Kochmar, producer of international mass media
  57. Olha Vasylets, Institute of Mass Information
  58. Roman Bebekh, YouTube channel Bombardier
  59. Oleksandr Ruban, Institute of Mass Information
  60. NGO "Automaidan Vinnytsia"
  61. Yulia Kochetova, freelance photojournalist
  62. Albina Lvutina, journalist, producer for foreign media
  63. Maryan Prysyazhniuk, local producer of The Yomiuri Shimbun...
  64. Yevheniy Titov, freelance photojournalist.
  65. Khrystyna Lyzohub, cinematographer, Tabor Production LLC
  66. Dzvinka Pinchuk, photojournalist
  67. NGO "Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers" (UAPP)
  68. Olha Kovalova, photojournalist
  69. Vitaliy Ulybin, editor-in-chief of the media group "Sil" ("Poltavska Khvylia" and "Sil.Media")
  70. Artem Lysak, Sky News
  71. Illya Oliynyk, local producer of CBC, The WSJ, The New Yorker...
  72. Kyrylo Amurskyi, LCI/Quotidien journalist
  73. Olha Kalynovska, journalist, Channel 5
  74. Yakiv Lyashenko, freelance photojournalist
  75. Yulia Kirienko, TSN, 1+1
  76. Ruslan Smeshchuk, special correspondent with Inter TV, United News telethon
  77. Philip Maltzan, journalist, United24media
  78. Heorhiy Ivanchenko, journalism and documentary photographer, member of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers.
  79. Ilona Korotitsyna, "Vhoru" Media Platform
  80. Serhiy Melnychuk, journalist, co-founder of the NGO Ukrainian Witness, head of the NGO UMN.
  81. Stanislav Kuharchuk, special correspondent with Inter TV, United News telethon
  82. Vira Labych, journalist
  83. Stanislav Storozhenko, journalist and local producer for DR and Voice of America
  84. Sofia Gatilova, photojournalist.
  85. Yulia Lavryshyn, journalist
  86. Kateryna Kapustina, journalist, public activist
  87. Oleksandr Kromplyas, journalist, producer of the German media holding Mainpost
  88. Anton Podlutskyi, KyivVlada journalist and co-founder.
  89. Larysa Kalyk, journalist
  90. Yashar Fazylov, fixer with the French national radio station Radio France
  91. Oleksandr Naselenko, local producer of the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times
  92. Vitaliy Poberezhny, war journalist
  93. Yevhenia Soboleva, local producer, freelance journalist
  94. Andriy Kolesnyk, local producer with Reporters Sans Frontiers
  95. Natalia Yermak, producer and journalist with The New York Times
  96. Volodymyr Pechersky, local producer for Asahi TV, Japan
  97. Dmytro Horevoy, producer for foreign media outlets
  98. Bohdan Butkevych, author and host of the YouTube channel "", Kyiv 98 FM radio host
  99. Yelyzaveta Kovtun, CEO of Frontliner
  100. Editors of the courtroom reporting outlet "Graty"
  101. Ramina Eshakzai, journalist; the author and host of the YouTube channel "RAMINA".
  102. Dmytro Zabarny, local producer of foreign media.
  103. Roman Kot, Ukrainian Radio editor
  104. Roman Havelka, Journalist Czechia
  105. Kostyantyn Klyatskin, documentarist, member of the cinematographers association BABYLON'13
  106. Olha Podorozhna, local producer for foreign media
  107. Yuliana Skibitska, journalist, editor, author of the Telegram channel "Vsrata Jurnalistyka"
  108. Dmytro Vasyliev, Suspilne Odesa special correspondent
  109. Alla Khotsyanivska, TSN (1+1) special correspondent
  110. Kira Girzheva, journalist, editor
  111. Victoria Mankovska, Gvara Media journalist, editor
  112. Yuriy Sysoyev, Suspilne Odesa photo correspondent
  113. Olena Hnitetska, journalist with "MOST: Kherson"
  114. Tatyana Leonova, freelance journalist
  115. Anton Malinovsky, journalist
  116. Mykhailo Makaruk, spokesman for the international volunteer intelligence community InformNapalm
  117. Mykhailo Levakin, journalist.
  118. Olesya Lanzman, journalist
  119. Maksym Zaytsev, local producer
  120. Oleksandra Yefimenko, journalist
  121. Serhiy Solodko, local producer.
  122. Svitlana Morenets, The Spectator journalist
  123. Yelyzaveta Krotyk, Suspilne: Mykolaiv journalist
  124. Oleksandr Solodkyi, photographer, volunteer
  125. Olena-Maria Pryamukhina, Ukrainian, photographer
  126. Yulia Zabelina, NV journalist
  127. Nazar Furyk, photographer, documentarist
  128. Lyudmyla Yankina, human rights activist, head of the civil society protection department at the ZMINA Human Rights Center
  129. Tatyana Shelepko, Aftenposten local producer
  130. Max Yuryev, journalist
  131. Bohdan Kutsenko, journalist, Getty Images field producer
  132. Khrystyna Lutsyk, Radio Ua Chicago journalist, photographer
  133. National Union of Journalists of Ukraine
  134. Halyna Davydova, Gard.City editor-in-chief
  135. Iryna Sampan, Hromadske Radio, Butusov +
  136. Nadia Sukha, Ukrainian Witness journalist
  137. Illya Puntusov, NV video editor
  138. Lyubov Sholudko, BBC News producer,
  139. Daria Bura, journalist
  140. Kostyantyn Ivanenko, journalist, public activist
  141. Nicoletta Stoyanova, Frontliner reporter
  142. Oleksandr Benza, journalist, producer
  143. Oleksandr Magula, photojournalist
  144. Alyona Savchuk, reporter
  145. Inna Varenytsya, freelance journalist

For reference. The Media Movement is a community that has united journalists from leading Ukrainian media, investigative journalists and experts from independent media organizations. Media movement was launched on February 5, 2019.

The Media Movement Memorandum was first signed by Suspilne, Ukrainian Radio, Hromadske Radio, Ukrinform, Interfax-Ukraine,,, NV,, Ukrayinska Pravda, and many others leading Ukrainian media. The movement also includes leading Ukrainian media NGOs, such as the IMI, Detector Media, Independent Media Council, Internews Ukraine, National Media Association, Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law, Suspilnist Foundation, Donetsk Institute of Information, Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy, Zmina Center for Human Rights. Other organizations and journalsits joined later – over 70 members in total.

On November 16, 2021, top media outlets called on journalists to unite within the professional community "Media Movement" to resist political and commercial pressure on freedom of speech. The statement was initiated by 29 journalists and experts whose names are available here.

Liked the article?
Help us be even more cool!