Journalists in Ukraine, Russia under threat for war coverage

As Russia continues to attack cities and towns across Ukraine, journalists in both countries are facing attacks, arrests, and threats. In Russia, independent journalists were detained and their homes searched amid Victory Day celebrations, and in Ukraine, reports emerged that photojournalist Ihor Hudenko has been missing in Kharkiv since February.

To date, CPJ has confirmed that at least seven journalists have died while covering the war and is investigating whether at least six others were killed because of their work. In Russia, meanwhile, scores of reporters have left the country or are facing prosecution in the face of harsh crackdowns on independent media.

(Photo shows a woman carrying bags of food as she walks in the Saltivka district in northern Kharkiv on May 17, 2022. Credit: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP)

CPJ calls for international probe of Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing

Al-Jazeera Arabic reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was fatally shot in the head while covering an Israeli army operation in the West Bank town of Jenin on May 11.

CPJ calls for an international investigation into the Palestinian-American correspondent’s death.

Al-Jazeera producer Ali al-Samoudi was also shot and injured while working in the same area.

Feature: Inspired by Shireen Abu Akleh, journalist Shatha Hanaysha was an eyewitness to her killing 

More on the war’s impact on the media

  • Some Ukrainian journalists are leaving the media for the military in the name of patriotism 
  • Journalist Iryna Danilovich charged, detained by Russian authorities in Crimea
  • Zaborona reports that a three-member film crew–camera operator Nikolai Dondyuk, journalist Vera Mironova, and photographer Ivan Chernichkin–came under heavy Russian fire on May 15 in Cherkaskie village, near Kharkiv. They all escaped unharmed
  • Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists reports that Russian forces allegedly looted the public broadcaster’s building in Kherson, and intend to launch Tavria, a propaganda channel
  • Interfax reports that Ukraine’s security service identified 13 foreign journalists as working for Russian propaganda and banned them from entering Ukraine for three years
  • Kremlin-backed television channel RT reported on its Telegram channel that two of its cameramen were injured Friday during a rocket attack in the Donetsk region
  • Meduza reports that a Russian court fined Radio Svoboda, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Russian service, 12.8 million rubles (US$197,000) for refusing to remove “fakes” about the war in Ukraine

Read CPJ’s Russia-Ukraine watch and other updates, in-depth reports and CPJ statements on the conflict

Safety advice for journalists covering war and related unrest


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Journalists Attacked

Javier Valdez Cárdenas

The author interprets Javier Valdez Cárdenas's acceptance speech at the 2011 International Press Freedom Awards in New York. Valdez 'combined the grit of the most battle-hardened reporter with the elegiac soul of a 19th century Romantic poet.' (CPJ)
MURDERED

On May 15, 2017, investigative reporter and editor Javier Valdez Cárdenas was fatally shot near the editorial offices of Riodoce, the investigative weekly he co-founded in 2003 in the northern Mexican city of Culiacán. Valdez had received numerous threats in connection to his work prior to his death.

As of May 2022, two men have been convicted for their roles in Valdez’s murder.

In at least 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

journalists killed in 2022
imprisoned in 2021
missing globally