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The International Federation of Journalists suspends Russian union

22.02.2023, 17:17

The International Federation of Journalists has suspended with immediate effect the Russian Union of Journalists over its action since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its role in annexed Ukrainian territories.

The decision was made on February 22, The Washington Post reports.

The IFJ, which represents more than 600,000 media workers across the world, said the Russian union’s membership was suspended following an investigation then a vote by its global executive committee on Wednesday.

The vote was held after the union refused to reconsider its decision to set up branches in four regions annexed by Russia, the federation said.

“The Russian Union of Journalists’ actions in establishing four branches in the annexed Ukrainian territories have clearly shattered ... solidarity and sown divisions among sister unions,” said IFJ President Dominique Pradalié.

As IMI reported, the International Federation of Journalists triggered a formal process for suspending and expelling the Russian Union of Journalists.

This happened due to Finnish, Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic unions quitting the global media federation on January 31 in protest at "corruptive activity", including allowing Russian state media journalists in Ukraine to stay as members. They accused the IFJ of "longstanding undemocratic practices, unethical finances and of allowing the Russian state media representatives to continue as members."

Another reason for their quitting was the IFJ failing to take action against the Russian Union of Journalists for setting up regional journalists' associations in Ukrainian territories invaded by Russia.

In October 2022, it became known that the Russian state propaganda company "All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company" plans to open its branches in the occupied territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) condemned the establishment of branches of the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) in the Ukrainian territories illegally annexed by Russia and called on the RUJ to renounce these settlements.

In May 2022, the Association of Ukrainian Media, Journalists and Public Organizations "Media Movement" addressed the International Federation of Journalists, calling on it to expel the Russian Union of Journalists. This issue had already been raised at the IFJ in early March by a number of representatives of Northern European countries.

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