Espreso. Global

Ukrainian journalists demand that authorities cancel lists of media that can work in 'red' zones

29 March, 2023 Wednesday

Journalists covering the events of the Russian-Ukrainian war have spoken out against censorship and demanded that the authorities cancel the lists of media that can work in the 'red' zones

The video message was posted on the Facebook page of Marian Kushnir, a war correspondent and journalist for Radio Liberty.

Marian Kushnir argues that journalists covering the Russian-Ukrainian war have been “divided into 'ours' and 'not ours',” and that the war is “once again being monopolized.”

“The other day, the authorities announced a decision to create a 'traffic light' in the war zone: to differentiate settlements by color, with a 'red zone' - places from Vuhledar to Avdiivka, Siversk and Bakhmut, where media work is prohibited. Just a few days after that, we learned that there was a list of media that the authorities still allowed to cover events even in the 'red zone.' The names and surnames of 'their' media workers were 'leaked',” the journalist wrote.

Therefore, war correspondents protested against this division.

“Today, there can be no closed zones (except for those quickly determined due to the situation), nor lists with 'our own'” the journalists emphasize.

As Marian Kushnir told Detector Media, only journalists from the channels that produce the United News telethon were allowed to work in the red zones. The list does not include online media or channels that are not part of the marathon. The journalists learned about the lists from those colleagues whose names were included in the list of media allowed in the 'red' zones. The document itself, according to the journalists, is classified.

The information was also confirmed by journalist Anastasia Horpinchenko, who posted a screenshot of correspondence with an unnamed press officer of one of the crews, who wrote in a message that “the situation has changed” and now press officers can only work with TV crews from United News.

“Instead of confronting the Russians, we are also forced to confront the Ukrainian government, which has decided to censor the war. The ban on working in the 'red' zone, where civilians still remain. Additional permits to enter certain places. Creating lists of journalists who will be allowed to enter even the 'red' zone. And above all, the lack of dialog, explanations and any argumentation,” the journalists emphasize.

The video message was recorded by Anna Kudriavtseva, Channel 5; Kostiantyn Melnykov, Fakty, ICTV; Marian Kushnir, Radio Liberty; Anastasia Fedchenko, Novynarnia; Stas Kukharchuk, Inter; Yulia Kiriienko, TSN, 1+1; Tetiana Nakonechna, Fakty, ICTV; Ihor Levenok, Inter; Yehor Lohinov, Donbas.Realities, Radio Liberty project; Olena Maksymenko, freelance journalist; Ruslan Smeshchuk, Inter; Oleh Kornienko, Fakty, ICTV; Yevhenia Kytaieva, Channel 5; Olha Omelianchuk, Radio Liberty; and Natalia Nahorna, TSN, 1+1.

  • On February 27, the Ministry of Defense published amendments to Order №73 of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces "On the organization of interaction between the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other components of the defense forces and media representatives during the martial law regime." It changes the rules for accreditation of journalists during martial law and introduces special zones for media representatives.

  • On March 20, the command of the Odesa operational and strategic military grouping, and a day earlier the command of the Khortytsia operational and strategic military grouping, defined 'red,' 'yellow,' and 'green' zones for journalists of accredited media on their territories. The work of accredited media representatives is prohibited in the 'red' zone. In the 'yellow' zone, you can work only if accompanied by a press officer. The list of zones is planned to be updated weekly.

  • The Media Movement issued a statement that the zoning, as introduced by the operational and strategic groups of troops, “actually makes it impossible for journalists to work not only along the entire frontline, but also in peaceful settlements.”

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