The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to introduce and extend sanctions against Russian media that disseminate false information, including to justify Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine.
“It is now of crucial importance to consolidate joint efforts to combat Russian propaganda and disinformation, in particular by stopping the activities of Russian propaganda broadcasters abroad. In this context, we call on the international community to introduce and extend sanctions against Russian media that disseminate false information, including to justify Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
The Foreign Ministry said that since 2014 Russia’s war against Ukraine has been accompanied by crimes against journalists and the destruction of independent journalism in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. Murders and kidnappings of media representatives, arrests, seizures of television towers, baseless raids on editorial offices are just a small list of the crimes of the Russian invaders against the media, the ministry said.
“Since February 2022, during eight months of large-scale aggression, Russia has committed 457 crimes against journalists and media in Ukraine, according to monitoring by the Institute of Mass Communication. In October, the Russian invaders have killed more than forty Ukrainians and foreign journalists,” the ministry said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also notes the alarming deterioration in the situation of human rights and freedom of expression in the temporarily occupied Crimea.
“After the occupation in 2014, when independent journalists were driven from the peninsula or arrested, the phenomenon of citizen journalism is growing on the peninsula. Ordinary citizens, risking their lives, join the cover of the crimes of the Russian occupiers. human rights activists, currently 14 journalists, including citizen journalists, are being held behind bars in occupied Crimea or on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the ministry said.
It is reported that the invasion of Russian troops has become a new countdown for brutal repressions against representatives of regional media, in particular, hundreds of media outlets in the temporarily occupied territories have been forced to stop working due to threats and the inability to carry out journalistic activities. under the conditions of a temporary occupation.
“Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine are systematically isolated from the Ukrainian information space, Ukrainian broadcasting and the work of national Internet operators are blocked there, while the occupiers broadcast Russian state channels. Russia also leads an active information war, spreading disinformation about Ukraine, carrying out special operations to undermine society and discredit relations with international partners,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry said Ukraine and its partners will also continue their efforts to investigate Russia’s crimes against journalists in Ukraine and the activities of Russian propagandists involved in criminal information operations as part of full-scale war against Ukraine.
“The perpetrators of these atrocities will be brought to justice with the utmost rigour. We thank the thousands of Ukrainian and international journalists who, often at the risk of their lives, tell the world the truth about the war in Ukraine,” the ministry said.