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National online media share an unblurred video of a grenade going off in Zakarpattia

15.12.2023, 15:46
Photo: the National Police
Photo: the National Police

Some of Ukraine's top online media outlets posted news with an unblurred video of a grenade going off on the premises of a village council in Zakarpattia. The video clearly shows people's faces, the explosion itself and its aftermath, and you can hear the screams of the victims being mutilated in real time. The news with this video was not labeled 18+ either, as it should have been to protect the rights of children and adolescents, and had no other warnings about sensitive content.

"Ukrainian Pravda" shared the news on their website, adding to it an unblurred video of the explosion. The media outlet wrote on the social media platform X that the video was provided to them by a source. NV posted the uncensored video, reposting the news from the Telegram channel "Pravda Gerashchenko".

The video was also shared unblurred by the websites "Censor",, TSN, "Espreso", "Korespondent", "Obozrevatel", and "Liga", which all used the video from the Telegram channel of local journalist Vitaliy Glagola.

Channel 24 was the only media outlet that added the 18+ label to the headline and an additional sensitive content warning to the video.

The Zakarpattia media outlet, which cited their Telegram channel, did not blur out the video, either.

The media oultet News.LIVE shared the three-minute unblurred video from the anonymous Telegram channel "Trukha"; the video shows people in a panic, screaming and trying to regain their senses after the incident.

The websites, Gordon, hromadske, Ukrinform, Radio Liberty, Interfax-Ukraine, and Novynarnia used the blurred video from the National Police.

As a reminder, Part 1 of Article 42 of the Law "On Media" ("Protection of children") restricts the media from sharing content that may be harmful to the physical, mental or moral development of children, as well as content that:

  • is excessively graphic;
  • features a close-up view of the body of a dead, dying, or brutally mutilated person.

At the same time, part 6 of Article 42 states that online media may share the information listed in part 1 of the same article, provided that they add an appropriate warning about the information being potentially harmful to children.

Earlier, the National Police reported that on December 15, at 11:37 a.m., they were told that a deputy detonated several grenades in the building of the Keretsky Village Council (Mukachevo District) during a meeting.

The explosion injured 26 people, six of whom are in a serious condition. Medics are resuscitating the man who detonated the grenades.

Investigators classified the event under Part 1 of Art. 263 (“Unlawful handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives”) of the Criminal Code. The Security Service of Ukraine will investigate the event under Part 1 of Article 258 (“Act of terrorism”) of the Criminal Code.

Olena Holub, a media expert at the Institute of Mass Information, notes that sharing a video featuring identifiable faces of people can be considered a violation of Article 3 of the Ukrainian Journalist's Code of Ethics: "A journalist must be respectful of a person's privacy."

"It is also bad and traumatic that many relatives of the victims quite possibly learned about the tragedy from the media. This could also negatively impact their mental state and their processing of what happened. If the media claims to be socially sustainable, it should avoid such things," Olena Holub said.

Update. Espreso's editors updated their story after the IMI shared this post, adding a sensitive content warning to the video. The media outlet added “Caution! The link contains potentially traumatic content" next to the unblurred video from Vitaliy Glagola's Telegram channel. 

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