A Ukrainian military instructor teaches civilians holding wooden replicas of rifles, as they take part in a February 6, 2022, training session in the capital Kyiv amid fears of a possible Russian invasion. (AFP/Sergei Supinsky)

Ukrainian journalists prepping for possible war

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As world leaders scramble to stave off a Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine’s press corps also prepare for possible war. Journalists in the country spoke to CPJ about the current dangers they face, including risk of arrests and kidnapping while covering Donbass and Crimea, and their fears of communication blackouts and internet shutdowns if tensions climb.

“If there is an invasion…then it means very big personal risk for every one of us,” Olga Rudenko, editor of the recently founded Kyiv Independent newspaper, told CPJ. “At the same time, I think everybody just realizes how exceptionally important [independent journalists’] role and our mission is right now.”

CPJ’s Asia program asked five Afghan journalists what objects they hurriedly packed as they fled the country following the Taliban takeover in 2021. A journalist’s wife packed a jar of soil, so she “can smell our homeland.” CPJ helped evacuate at least 60 journalists  and their families following the chaotic U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Global press freedom updates

  • Indian journalist Rohit Biswal killed in bombing while covering Maoist rebels
  • Kashmir journalist Fahad Shah arrested over “anti-national content.” His arrest is part of a wider clampdown on press freedom across Indian-administered Kashmir
  • Israel to investigate alleged police use of Pegasus spyware against local journalists, others
  • Ghana court jails journalist Oheneba Boamah Bennie for contempt of court
  • Nicaraguan journalist Miguel Mendoza convicted of conspiracy, false news
  • Belarusian photojournalist Uladz Hrydzin sentenced to 13 days in jail
  • Northeast Syrian authorities assault Rudaw news crew, suspend network’s license
  • Turkish President Erdoğan sues recently arrested journalist Sedef Kabaş. Separately, members of Turkish regulator say DW, VOA, Euronews face website blocks over licensing decision
  • Armed men again raid Guinea-Bissau broadcaster Radio Capital FM, destroy equipment
  • Independent Venezuelan news sites blocked by state-controlled and private service providers
  • Philippine anti-communist task force threatens Rappler with legal action
  • CPJ condemns cyberattack on News Corp media publications


Ahead of World Radio Day this Sunday, CPJ, the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the One Free Press Coalition chose to spotlight radio journalists who have faced retaliation for their reporting. For over a century, radio journalism has remained a vital source of information for communities.

CPJ has found that in certain authoritarian countries, like Venezuela, there has been a steady decline in the number of radio stations as a result of a crackdown on the press. Since 1992, CPJ has documented at least 275 cases of radio journalists killed in connection to their work, and 19 radio journalists were imprisoned in 2021.

Read more about the 11 brave journalists featured this month, including imprisoned Cameroonian reporter Thomas Awah Junior, currently serving an 11-year sentence, and radio journalist John Wesley Amady, who was tragically shot and killed by suspected gang members in Haiti on January 6, alongside journalist Wilguens Louis-Saint.

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