Steep rise in number of attacks on Ukrainian journalists


 Dmytro Hnap attacked by hired thugs on Nov 29

According to the latest report by Reporters without Borders, 2013 saw an increase in the number of attacks on journalists throughout the world, with Ukraine having 120 so far.  RWB’s representative in Ukraine, Oksana Romanyuk told Kommersant Ukraine that these are preliminary figures which will form part of the Press Freedom Index published at the beginning of 2014.  In 2103 71 journalists have been killed, including two in Russia: Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev, and the editor of Khimkinskaya Pravda, Mikhail Beketov (whose injuries were received much earlier, see 

No journalists have been killed in Ukraine this year, but many have come under attack.

In 2012 there were 80 attacks on journalists; in 2013 there have been 120.  RWB says Ukraine was the worst place for journalists in Europe this year.  Unlike in Russia and Belarus where censorship and legal methods are used for putting pressure on journalists, “in Ukraine physical violence is practised”.  Romanyuk explains that since the end of November the number of attacks has increased, especially in Kyiv, and says that this was because titushki or hired thugs were brought in.

See, for example, Vicious Attack on Road Control journalist

Thugs attack Channel 5 film crew near pro-government rally journalists beaten up in centre of Kyiv

RWB says that in 45 cases the attacks were carried out by law enforcement officers; 22 – by private individuals; 12 – by security guards; 4 – by local officials; and one MP.  

Valery Garagutz was beaten by Berkut riot police on Dec 1. He is now facing charges of organizing disturbances

The Ukrainian office of RWB also notes the arrests of members of the press.

All have been reported here:  Oleh Panas; Valery Garagutz and Road Control journalist Andriy Dzyndzya (see: Panas, Dzyndzya, Smaliy: Message Received. What now?)


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