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StratCom reminds journalists of the correct ways to report on the UAF's work

08.09.2023, 15:20
Photo: Jose Hernandez /
Photo: Jose Hernandez /

The Strategic Communications Department of the Office of the UAF Commander-in-Chief addressed journalists with regards  cover the activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Such a statement was released by the UAF StratCom.

StratCom asks mass media to produce high-quality content about the work of the Ukrainian Armed Forces:

  • to refer to the requirements in the UAF Commander-in-Chief's March 3, 2022 Decree No. 73 "On the organization of cooperation between the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other components of the Defense Forces, and mass media representatives under martial law" (amended) for quidelines;
  • to adhere to the ethical standards of journalism (practical recommendations by the Commission on Journalistic Ethics following Russia's full-scale aggression and the February 24, 2022 invasion of Ukraine, posted here);
  • to trust official spokespeople only and not to spread unverified information from "personal sources" while covering events on the frontline;
  • to verify information through official agencies before believing and sharing it;
  • to refrain from public personal assessments of the military operations, as only the top military leadership and authorized persons have the full battlefield picture and can make reliable analyzes and predictions;
  • to discuss the questions with press officers in advance when planning interviews, because the process of getting an approval will both help you better articulate your points and thoroughly explore the subject and help the qualified department representative provide you with the most reliable and comprehensive information.

StratCom also reminded that interviews (comments) received from a qualified person personally remain one of the main sources of reliable information. "Remember: reporting on the military operations, their progress and outcomes falls to the Ukrainian Armed Forces!" the message reads.

At the same time, StratCom noted that Ukrainian and foreign journalists are risking their lives every day, striving to provide the global community with objective information about the war in Ukraine. "In this way they are doing their part in the fight against the powerful Russian propaganda, which complements the military arsenal of the occupier state," the message reads.

As IMI reported, on August 31, the international watchdog "Reporters Without Borders" called on the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence to stop denigrating the journalists' right to report what is happening and to respect Ukraine's press freedom and free speech commitments.

The RSF remarked that on social media and during an appearance on the TV news channel TSN on 21 August, deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar accused the media of revealing the positions of the Ukrainian 82nd Air Assault Brigade, thereby allowing it to be targeted by Russian forces. However, the organization remarks, the Russians had this information before it was published by Forbes, among other things thanks to the video footage filmed by their drones.

RSF mentioned the case of Oleksandr Pohrebyskyi, a Kyiv city council representative who was a member of the 46th Air Assault Brigade, who links the decision to move him to a military training centre to the interview he gave to the independent news site Ukrainska Pravda in January 2023.

The organization added that Pohrebyskyi, who has nonetheless continued to talk to journalists, was  again on 18 August, immediately after the news site published an interview with him. Another member of the 46th Air Assault Brigade, Lt. Col. Anatoliy “Kupol” Kozel, was also demoted as a result of giving an interview. Shortly after he told the Washington Post in March 2023 that new army recruits lacked adequate training – which caused an outcry in Ukraine, he was transferred to the same centre as Pohrebyskyi.

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