Russia’s War on Ukraine Is a Threat to Press Freedom, Report Says

Journalism is coming under increasingly intense pressure in Ukraine, exacerbated by the war, as press freedom remains restricted in well over two thirds of the world, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

RSF’s 2022 World Press Freedom Index released on May 3, which measures access to information and curbs on journalistic freedoms, found that the situation for the press is “very bad” in 28 countries, “difficult” in 42 and “problematic” in 62. Those 132 countries represent just over 73% of the 180 nations surveyed.

Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war is a threat to the future of Ukrainian media, which were already fairly restricted before the invasion due to an oligarch monopoly, according to RSF. Ukraine ranks 106 on the index of 180 countries, while Russia ranks 155.
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“In this ‘information war’, Ukraine stands at the front line of resistance against the expansion of the Kremlin’s propaganda system,” RSF said in its report.

Since February, journalists in Ukraine have been deliberately targeted by military fire, and the number of reporters killed has risen to at least 20, according to the Moscow Times.

Ukraine’s government has blocked media carrying Kremlin-backed propaganda, while the Russian army has deliberately targeted journalists, media and infrastructure to prevent the Ukrainian population from having access to independent news and information.

In Russia, journalism was already tightly controlled by the Kremlin before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, but some independent media outlets fought to challenge the state narrative. That changed on March 4, when President Vladimir Putin enacted a law making sharing “false information” about the war punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The Kremlin also blocked access to Facebook and foreign news outlets.

The clampdown forced independent media outlets—including Novaya Gazeta, which is led by …read more

Source:: Time – World


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