Paris, March 18, 2022 – In response to the disappearance of Hromadske journalist Viktoria Roshchina and reports that she is being held by Russian forces in Ukraine, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement on Friday:
“Viktoria Roshchina is now the second journalist reported missing since the beginning of the Russian invasion,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York. ”Journalists who shed light on the situation in Ukraine should not be targets. We are deeply worried about her disappearance and call on anyone with information on her whereabouts to come forward at once.”
Roshchina, a journalist for the independent Ukrainian television channel Hromadske, has been covering the situation in hotspots of eastern and southern Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24, according to Hromadske CEO Yuliia Fediv and chief editor Yevhenia Motorevska, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.
On March 11, Roshchina published an article about the situation in Russian-occupied Enerhodar, a city of southeast Ukraine.
In a statement published on March 18, Hromadske editorial staff said that they last spoke with Roshchina on March 11, but she had left Enerhodar by then and was on her way to Mariupol. On March 12, witnesses told Hromadskethat Roshchina was in Russian-occupied Berdyansk. On March 16, Hromadske was told by local sources that she had been detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). Her current location remains unknown, according to Fediv.
CPJ contacted the FSB for comment via email, but received an auto-response that the message had been blocked.
On March 5, Russian forces in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporozhye region fired on Roshchina’s vehicle, as CPJ reported.
Oleh Baturyn, a journalist for the Ukrainian newspaper Novyi Den, has been missing since March 12, as CPJ reported. He was last seen in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Kakhovka, in the Kherson region.