Russia Targets Key Media and Journalists in Crimea | Freedom House

Russia Targets Key Media and Journalists in Crimea

Russia should immediately end its escalating interference with media in Ukraine, and both Ukrainian and Russian authorities should protect journalists’ rights and safety, Freedom House said.

Broadcasts by two key Ukrainian TV stations – 5th Channel and 1+1 – were cut off March 6 when armed men and representatives of a Russian government-owned TV company took control of broadcasting facilities in Crimea and began broadcasting Russia-24, a station produced by the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.

In a statement, Concern RRT, one of the companies that transmits the Ukrainian channels in Crimea, said that the pro-Russian forces planned to replace more local programming with other Russian TV channels, and linked the development to the larger information war between largely Russian outlets on one side and Ukrainian and Western outlets on the other.

Independent media and journalists have faced harassment across Ukraine by Russian military forces, so-called Crimean self-defense forces, and pro-Russian activists, many of them bussed in from Russia.

Also in Crimea, pro-Russian Cossacks attacked two groups of foreign journalists on March 6 while renegade, well-armed forces raided the Center for Investigative Journalism, a leading investigative journalism outfit; assaulted an independent journalist; and forced the shutdown of the regional TV station Black Sea TV.

Learn more:
Op-Ed: U.S. Foreign Policy Comes Home to Roost with Russia’s Action in Ukraine
Press Release: EU, U.S. Must Reinforce Agreement in Ukraine through Sanctions
Freedom Alert: Freedom House Condemns Deadly Violence in Ukraine
Nations in Transit 2013: Ukraine
Freedom in the World 2014: Ukraine
Freedom of the Press 2013: Ukraine
Freedom on the Net 2013: Ukraine
Blog: The Disturbing Role of American Consultants in Yanukovych’s Ukraine