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The UAF amends accreditation rules for journalists, introduces three access zones – Decree No.73

01.03.2023, 14:28
Photo: lookatmedia
Photo: lookatmedia

Journalists will only receive accreditation for a period of up to six months, and the frontline area will now be divided into three access zones for media workers.

On February 27, such amendments were made to UAF Commander-in-Chief's Decree No. 73 regarding engagement with the mass media during martial law.

Journalists whose press cards of UAF accreditation have been issued last year and are still valid will be allowed to work in the combat areas until May 1, 2023.

The amendments impacted Appendices 1 "Mechanism for working with accredited mass media representatives under martial law" and 3 "Procedure for accreditation of mass media representatives under martial law".

The amendments go as follows:

  • A new type of press card, valid for up to six months, is introduced. Old press cards will be valid until May 1, 2023 – this is the deadline until which media representatives with valid 2022 UAF press cards will be allowed to work in combat areas.
  • Now leaders and commanders of operational and strategic units will determine the access zones for mass media representatives in the area under their responsibility. There are three such zones: green (accredited media representatives are allowed to work without the accompaniment of a public relations officer or another official designated by the commander), yellow (accredited media representatives are allowed to work only if accompanied by a public relations officer or another official designated by the commander), and red (no mass media representatives allowed, even if accredited).
  • Now even more passport scans will be needed – the first two pages used to be the only ones required, now it will be the first three.
  • The UAF Public Relations Department will provide access to the list of accredited mass media representatives to the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the National Police of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the State Migration Service of Ukraine, and the Department of State Security of Ukraine upon request.
  • From now on, the UAF units which monitor and analyze how the Defense Forces of Ukraine are being represented in the Ukrainian and international media space must submit their findings to the UAF Public Relations Department.
  • The hotline for checking the accreditation status of mass media representatives is run by the relevant divisions of the National Police of Ukraine.
  • A ban on additional accreditations other than those specified by this order has been introduced.
  • It is stated that the decree ceases to be valid as soon as the martial law is lifted.

The decree also adds items to the list of classified information (Appendix 2), namely:

  • Information that may lead to the enemy learning of the consequences of missile strikes on military objects (checkpoints), if such information has not been made public by the General Staff or other military command bodies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
  • Information that can lead to the enemy learning of the consequences of missile strikes on critical state infrastructure facilities, if such information has not been posted by the state authorities of Ukraine.
  • Information on the deployment or transfer of weapons, armaments, and ammo to Ukraine, in particular about their movement through the territory of Ukraine, if such information has not been made public by the UAF General Staff, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, or official sources of relevant departments in partner states.
  • Information about the transfer, movementm or location of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or other military formations created under Ukrainian law, if they can be identified on the ground and if such information has not been made public by the UAF General Staff.
  • Information that may allow the enemy to find the specific location of air defense units' personnel and equipment.
  • License numbers, flags, or other markings on the internationally produced weapons and military equipment provided within the framework of material and technical assistance by partner states, which make it possible to determine the country of origin or the model of these weapons and military equipment.
  • Photo or video content with destroyed (hit, damaged) weapons or military equipment produced abroad which were provided as part of logistical aid by partner states.

It will be recalled that earlier, representatives of the media community proposed to create a task force at the President's Office to improve the way their engagement with the military is regulated, and submitted their proposals on improving communication between journalists and the military to the UAF General Staff.

"We received no feedback on our proposals, and we learned about the amendments to Decree No. 73 from Telegram channels, which clearly is no sign of 'improvement of communication,'" said the IMI director, Oksana Romaniuk. "We will study the decree carefully to understand whether at least some of the proposals made by the journalistic community have been really taken into account. So far, I am very surprised that we are simply faced with the amendments as a fact. This can hardly be considered a constructive approach."

You can verify your accreditation by calling the hotline at number 0894201864. You can also write to [email protected] if you have questions regarding accreditation.

Information on applying for accreditation is available here.

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