Media in Russia, Ukraine under threat for war coverage

As Russia continues its military assault on cities and towns across Ukraine, journalists in both countries are facing attacks, arrests, and threats. Russia’s State Duma adopted legislation that will facilitate the shutdown of independent media outlets and the prosecution of journalists for sharing information.

In Ukraine, CPJ has confirmed that at least seven journalists have died while covering the war. CPJ is investigating whether at least seven others were killed because of their work, including photojournalist Ihor Hudenko, whose February death in Kharkiv was reported May 20. Not included in CPJ’s killed database are journalists who left the profession to join the Ukrainian military – a phenomenon Ann Cooper explores in a CPJ feature.

(Photo shows Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa talking to journalists in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 21, 2022. Credit: Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo)

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 a swift and transparent international investigation into the Palestinian-American correspondent’s death.

Photo: AFP/Mohammed Abed

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

Al-Jazeera: Shireen Abu Akleh’s journalistic achievements

More on the war’s impact on the media

  • Two exiled Russian journalists charged for disseminating ‘fake’ news on war in Ukraine
  • ‘Disastrous for press freedom’: What Russia’s goal of an isolated internet means for journalists
  • Ukrainian photojournalist Ihor Hudenko died in February in Kharkiv
  • Zmina reports that the Ukrainian parliament has drafted a bill that will require compulsory insurance for Ukrainian journalists working in dangerous conditions. Media employers will also be required to provide journalists with safety equipment and first aid kits
  • Mediazona and Holod report that Russian state media regulator Roskomnadzor charged Yevgenia Albats, editor-in-chief of The New Times, for disseminating “fakes” about the Russian military in articles that the outlet removed three months ago at Roskomnadzor’s request
  • Mediazona reports Russian authorities have opened multiple criminal cases against journalists for reporting on Russian military activities 
  • Shuttered Russian broadcaster Dozhd TV will relaunch, said chief editor Tikhon Dzyadko and anchor Ekaterina Kotrikadze on YouTube
  • As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, Ukrainian journalists get help from Polish colleagues 
  • Belarusian journalist detained for 2 months, charged over reporting
  • Tetyana Nakonechnaya, a correspondent for the Ukrainian ICTV channel, posted a video on Facebook of her camera crew coming under shelling in Donbas. They all escaped unharmed

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

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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)

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