Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchina was allegedly abducted by Russian forces in Ukraine in early August 2023 and reportedly has been held by Russia ever since.
Roshchina is a freelance reporter who has been covering the war in Ukraine for several Ukrainian media outlets, including Kyiv-based independent news website Ukrainska Pravda, regional news website Novosti Donbassa, and privately owned news website Censor.net.
Arrest and detention
Roshchina, who planned to travel on a reporting trip to the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine via Russia, left Ukraine for Poland on July 25, 2023, and was expected to reach the territories three days later.
She has been missing since August 3, 2023, and her current location is unknown, according to a statement by global non-profit organization International Women’s Media Foundation and Sevgil Musaieva, chief editor of Ukrainska Pravda.
Roshchina told her sister on August 3 that she had made it through days of border checks, but she did not share her location, Musaieva told CPJ. Ukraine’s SBU security service later told Roshchina’s family that Russian forces captured her, Musaieva said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t know where she went, how she crossed the border with Russia, or where she last got in touch,” Musaieva said. “If we had known at least something, it would have greatly simplified this search.”
Musaieva told CPJ that Roshchina was not on editorial assignment for Ukrainska Pravda, “but she asked what topics we could theoretically be interested in.”
Roshchina’s family reported her missing to the Ukrainian authorities on August 12 and filed an official missing case on September 21.
In March 2022, Roshchina was detained by Russian forces for 10 days while reporting in southeastern Ukraine. That same month, Russian forces in Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region fired on her vehicle.
In October 2023, CPJ emailed the SBU, the Russian Ministry of Defense, and the press service of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, but did not receive any replies.