The Russians were preparing lists of activists, journalists and local politicians as priority targets in order to cut off access to the media in order to destroy Ukrainian cities with impunity and without witnesses. The lack of reliable information sows panic and chaos among the locals, contributing to the seizure of the territory.
This is evidenced by the stories of the Associated Press video journalist Mstislav Chernov, the testimony of the NUJU representative Lina Kushch, the Kherson journalist Oleg Baturin and others. All the facts say that we are not dealing with chaotic crimes of Russia, but with a well-thought-out and pre-prepared policy for the destruction of free media in the territories seized by brute force.
“The Russians are well aware that their strategy of seizing territories — not for objective lighting. Covering the true picture of the destroyed or captured cities is fraught not so much with the stability of the occupation administrations, but with the peace of Russian society. The Russians, who still believe that their soldiers are bringing sweets, not shells, to Ukrainian lands, should not be disturbed by the realism of the occupied territories. Destroying any conditions for a free media to operate allows the regime to maintain an air of ambiguity or a lifeline for a besotted electorate. "Not everything is so simple" in the reaction of the average Russian to the atrocities of their troops – this is largely the result of the destruction of primary sources in the occupied territories, ”writes an analyst of the Opora Civic Network in his article. Alexander Klyuzhev.
To date, it is already known about the death of 33 journalists during the second stage of Russian aggression. Eight of them were killed while performing their professional duties. 25 journalists were killed by Russian shells not in the course of their professional duties or as participants in hostilities. IMI estimated that 14 Ukrainian and foreign journalists were injured and at least 15 journalists were missing. Most of the missing journalists are from Mariupol, whose fate is still unknown.
Analyst of the Opora Civic Network recalls that it is the duty of the Ukrainian state and society to send a signal that no one expects “information partisanism” from journalists in the occupied territories; and self-sacrifice. They are expected in the free territories of Ukraine, providing support in resettlement and restoration of professional activity.
Prepared by: Nina Petrovich