News / Europe

    Growing Concerns About Press Freedom in Ukraine

    Growing Concerns About Press Freedom in Ukrainei
    X
    March 11, 2014 12:52 AM
    There is growing concern that Russia or Russian surrogates are trying to restrict independent media coverage of unfolding events in Ukraine. Numerous incidents of harassment of international journalists and a Russian take over of Ukrainian broadcast frequencies raises alarms. Brian Padden reports.
    Brian Padden
    There is growing concern that Russia or Russian surrogates are trying to restrict independent media coverage of unfolding events in Ukraine, including Crimea.  There have been numerous incidents of harassment of international journalists, and Russia recently took over Ukrainian broadcast frequencies, raising alarms that Moscow is trying to silence opposition voices.

    At one point during a pro-Russia demonstration in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, protesters turned their anger toward Voice of America correspondent Daniel Schearf and his translator.  Shearf described what happened.

    “A large crowd encircled us, you know maybe three, four, five people deep. And we were obviously surrounded,” he said.

    In this case, the verbal assault did not turn violent but, as seen in one YouTube video, a Bulgarian journalist in Crimea was attacked by masked men as he tried to take pictures of them removing equipment from a TV studio.

    Nina Ognianova with the Committee to Protect Journalists says that journalist organizations are documenting an increasing number of acts of intimidation and physical attacks against those covering the crisis in Ukraine.

    “Men who in several most recent events have kidnapped at least two journalists, assaulted several reporters, kept reporters at gunpoint and obstructed them from entering the region,” she said.

    Russian state television also has taken over the broadcast frequency used by Crimea’s Black Sea TV, as well as two other stations in Kyiv.

    Ognianova says the clampdown on the media makes it more difficult to find a peaceful solution to the crisis as pro-Russian forces exert more control over Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

    “A plurality of views is crucial in this time of crisis," she said. "If there is going to be a conflict resolution, this is the only way that this conflict could be resolved.”

    Dunja Mijatovic with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also has urged all parties to permit journalists to report safely and without fear of reprisal.

    "The most important thing is that you stay safe and this is my message to everyone: 'Hands off media, hands off journalists, law enforcement agencies make sure that they are safe,'" she said  "And that would be a message from the OSCE representative of the media."

    These advocates for freedom of the press say silencing media is not acceptable, especially in times of crisis.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
    March 11, 2014 9:52 AM
    Let history play its part again,its only when the good fail to act the bad wins,Russia is an aggressive nation that should be made to fear the international community,history remembers the Crimean War (1854-1855) For centuries, one central goal of Russian foreign policy was to obtain a warm water port in the south--namely, at the Bosporus Straits and the Strait of the Dardanelles, the small waterways connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. In 1854, the decaying Ottoman Empire controlled that essential waterway and Russia sought increased power in this region.

    In 1853, St. Petersburg demanded that the Ottoman Empire recognize Russia's right to protect Eastern Orthodox believers in Turkey. When Turkey refused, Russia sent troops into Ottoman territory. Fearing increased Russian power and an upset to the balance of power on the Continent, Great Britain and France declared war on Russia on March 28, 1854. Russia fared well against its weaker neighbor to the south, destroying the Turkish fleet off the coast of Sinope, a port city in north-central Asia Minor. However, in September 1854, the British and French laid siege to Sevastopol, Russia's heavily fortified chief naval base in the Black Sea, lying on the Crimean peninsula.

    After just under one year of constant battle, the Russian abandoned the fortress, blowing up their fortifications and sinking their own ships. Meanwhile, at nearby Balaklava, British troops charged down a narrow valley that was flanked by Russian guns on both sides. Nearly every British soldier fell dead in what came to be called the Valley of Death. The name of the British group was the Light Brigade, giving rise to the famous Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade." Russia's new tsar, Alexander II, sued for peace in 1856. In the resulting Peace of Paris, Russia relinquished its claim as Christian protector in Turkey, the Black Sea was neutralized, and the balance of power was maintained.

    by: me from: hete
    March 11, 2014 8:25 AM
    It's all lie. He said that US helps neo nazis (bandits) by supplying them money and they breach their own law

    by: Pavel from: Russia
    March 11, 2014 6:13 AM
    None of journalists undestand fully what is going on in Ukraine. I consider all their activity as bringing instability to the region. Journalists have capability to influance on a situation but they use it for worse.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora