Associated Press photographer Evgeniy Maloletka points at the smoke rising after an airstrike in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

Fifth journalist killed covering Russia-Ukraine war

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In Ukraine, the number of journalists killed since Russia launched its full-scale assault on the country in February has reached five, with the death of Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, who was tragically killed during a March 23 Russian attack on the capital city of Kyiv.

Multiple journalists in Ukraine have gone missing or been detained since the start of the war a month ago, including photojournalist and documentary filmmaker Maks Levin, who has been missing since March 13.

During Vladimir Putin’s 22-year war against the independent media, a few critical voices were tolerated – until the war in Ukraine, writes Ann Cooper, professor emerita at Columbia Journalism School and a former executive director of CPJ. In recent weeks in Russia, calling the war a “war” has been outlawed, independent media outlets were shut down, and major social media platforms were blocked, plunging the country into an information dark age. Russian authorities have detained and questioned journalists for their reporting, raided newspaper offices, and more than 150 journalists have fled the country. 

“Ukrainian and Russian authorities must do everything in their power to ensure the safety of journalists and all other civilians, and to thoroughly investigate attacks on members of the press,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.

Sign up for our Europe and Central Asia email list here to receive updates on the Russia-Ukraine war in your inbox every weekday after 5 p.m. EDT.

Global press freedom updates

  • Guatemalan journalist Orlando Villanueva shot dead in Puerto Barrios
  • Taliban intelligence agents detain TOLOnews journalists, legal adviser in Kabul
  • Myanmar sentences journalists Hanthar Nyein and Than Htike Aung to two years in prison
  • Vietnamese journalist Le Van Dung sentenced to five years in prison
  • Two Ugandan journalists charged with cyberstalking the president, remanded to prison
  • Tunisian authorities detain Mosaique FM correspondent Khalifa Guesmi over terrorism article
  • Exiled Turkish journalist Ahmet Dönmez attacked in Sweden
  • Nigerian journalist Agba Jalingo acquitted of all charges 30 months after arrest
  • Tanzanian investigative newspaper allowed to publish after five-year ban
  • Mali suspends RFI and France 24, bars local outlets from distributing their content
  • CPJ joins 57 other civil society groups in a letter calling for the U.S. Congress to reauthorize the Global Magnitsky Act


Mexican journalists gather around pictures of colleagues who have been killed as they protest the killings of photojournalist Alfonso Margarito Martínez Esquivel and journalist Maria Guadalupe Lourdes Maldonado López, in Veracruz, Mexico, on January 25, 2022. (Reuters/Yahir Ceballos)

Five years after the murder of investigative reporter Miroslava Breach Velducea, who was shot eight times as she was leaving her home in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, “not much appears to have changed,” writes CPJ’s Mexico representative, Jan-Albert Hootsen, in an op-ed for Just Security. “Mexico remains…the country where journalists are most likely to be murdered for their work.”

“Even in a country where more than 100 reporters have been killed since the start of the century, the recent wave of violence is shocking, with troubling implications for the future of journalism in Mexico,” writes Hootsen.

In 2021, at least three journalists were killed in Mexico in relation to their work, and CPJ is still investigating six other cases to determine if journalism was a motive for their killings. So far this year, seven journalists have been killed in the country. CPJ is investigating five of those cases to determine whether journalism was the motive

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