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Statement. Media Movement calls on the international organizations not to confuse journalists with propagandists, participants of Russian aggression against Ukraine

24.07.2023, 22:13

Ukrainian journalists and media organizations, members of the Media Movement, call on international organizations not to confuse journalists with propagandists, who are active participants of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

UNESCO and the International Federation of Journalists issued statements calling the recently killed Russian citizen Rostislav Zhuravlyov, an employee of the Kremlin news agency RIA Novosti, "the 14th journalist who died since the beginning of the war in Ukraine on February 24, 2022", and called for an immediate investigation into his death.

We, the Ukrainian media community, remind the international organizations that propagandists are direct antagonists of journalists. It is their actions that lead to the destruction of freedom of speech and the persecution of media workers who work in compliance with the principles of freedom of speech and professional standards. Russian media organizations and their employees, who are active producers of propaganda and participants in Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, must be made accountable for their actions that led to the instigation of the war and the mass killing of Ukrainian citizens.

Propagandist Rostyslav Zhuravlyov personally participated in the aggression against Ukraine as part of armed formations, in particular, in the seizure of Ukrainian administrative buildings in Donetsk region in 2014. As Zhuravlyov himself wrote in his own social networks, he came from Russia in 2014 to participate in the war against Ukraine. This is evidenced by numerous photos of Zhuravlyov with weapons, Nazi symbols, and his posts, which indicate that he took an active part in the Russian occupation of Ukraine. He was also an active member of the Russian radical nationalist party "National Bolshevik Party", in particular, he headed its Sverdlovsk branch.

We also inform international organizations that RIA Novosti is a state information agency that is fully controlled and financed by the Russian state authorities. RIA Novosti is a part of the propaganda conglomerate "Rossiya Segodnya" under the leadership of Dmitri Kiselyov. both are subject to international sanctions and proactively produce fake news and aggressive disinformation about events in Ukraine.

For years, the Kremlin's propaganda, in particular, the RIA Novosti agency, prepared the ground for the Russian invasion and spun narratives about the supposed seizure of power in Ukraine by the Nazis and the alleged flourishing of Nazism throughout the country.

In April 2022, RIA published an article by Russian political technologist Timofey Sergeytsev "What Russia should do with Ukraine", which called for the complete destruction of Ukraine as a state and the ethnocide of Ukrainians. The author equated all Ukrainians with Nazis, and also incited Russians to radical military actions with the help of judgments such as "Ukrainian Nazism poses no less, but a greater threat to peace and to Russia than German Nazism of Hitler's origin". RIA Novosti published many direct calls for the destruction of representatives of the Ukrainian government, in particular, in the same article it was said: "The Bandera elite must be wiped out, its re-education is impossible".

Employees of such organizations are directly responsible for Russia's criminal war against Ukraine. Numerous sociological studies indicate a clear correlation between the consumption of Russian state information resources and support for the actions of the Russian army in Ukraine. All excuses of propagandists, such as the fact that they simply presented an "alternative point of view" to the audience, must be decisively rejected.

We call on international organizations to openly condemn Russian state propaganda and recognize it as a threat to peace and an act of aggression, in accordance with Article 30 of the UN Charter.

For reference: Mediarukh 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 first signatories of the Mediaruh memorandum were 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 - 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.

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