Ukraine: Murder of Russian Journalist Underscores Impunity

Washington

In response to the killing in Kyiv of Arkady Babchenko, a prominent independent Russian journalist who lived and worked in Ukraine, Freedom House issued the following statement:
 
“The murder of Arkady Babchenko, whose outspoken reporting of the ongoing fighting in Eastern Ukraine was critical of the actions of the Russian government, highlights threats to press freedom and the impunity of crimes against journalists in Ukraine, where unresolved attacks to journalists have increased since the murder of Pavel Sheremet in July 2016,” said Marc Behrendt, director of Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “Ukrainian authorities should swiftly investigate Babchenko’s killing and hold the perpetrators of this murder accountable.”

Background:

On May 29, Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed in his apartment building in Kyiv. Babchenko was an outspoken critic of the Kremlin; he had worked as a war correspondent for Novaya Gazeta and other publications before starting a crowdfunded independent project Journalism without Intermediaries. Babchenko fled Russia in 2017 after a Kremlin-sponsored campaign against him. Most recently, he worked with the Crimean Tatar TV station, ATR.

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2017, and receives a democracy score of 4.64, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2018.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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