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Journalists Are Russia’s First Target in Ukraine

Serhiy Tomilenko

The number of killed and injured media workers is growing. Despite the reprisals after the invasion of Ukraine, journalists continue to fight for freedom of speech, according to the British Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR).

For two months since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, at least 20 journalists have been killed while performing their duties, reporting, filming, and taking photos of the war. More media workers were injured, abducted, or killed in other circumstances, including during the battle as volunteers.

“They died because of the war and the Russian occupation. In other circumstances, they would have been alive. Russia does not abide by global conventions which grant journalists and unarmed civilians the same rights,” Head of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Serhiy Tomilenko told IWPR.

He added, “Russian troops do not recognise this status. On the contrary, journalists are their first target.”

Tomilenko said that, for example, some Mariupol journalists had been evacuated and taken to the occupied territory of Ukraine. Some were transported to the territory of the aggressor state. The connection was lost with some of these people. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine made a list of 26 journalists whose whereabouts are unknown. The information is updated daily.

Natalia Tolub

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