Journalist Arkadiy Babchenko is one of the few colleagues from Russia who is trying to make sense of the situation in the East of Ukraine. Really make sense of it. He is not putting labels, he does not tolerate official definitions and he does not shy away from posing uncomfortable questions, which he is not scared to get a black eye for.
Babchenko is outside of official journalism. His work is his personal blog “Journalism without mediators,” which exists thanks to charitable donations of the readers. For many his blog has become as “coordinate system” of sorts. For others, an excuse to call him a national traitor. Continue reading →
Ruslan Yugosh, one of the founders of the portal “Sobytiya Kryma”, stated about attempts of pressure on him as a journalist by the Crimean police.
As he noted, they started pressuring him by calling his 73-year-old mother in for questioning: “I can’t say that deep inside I wasn’t ready for attempts of “having influence” on me. But I never thought it would be by such an unnatural way. Having found that I don’t live in Crimea at the moment, police officers for some purpose decided to call in for questioning my 73-year-old mother – an elderly and ill person with hypertension. First they broke into the place where she lived and the next day they called her to witness at the far end of the city. And there were no official documents for that,” he wrote on Facebook. Continue reading →
In Sloviansk, “green men” like those seen at the beginning of the Russian occupation of Crimea, captured Hromadske TV and Lenta.ru journalists and forbade them to work in the town, highlighting events under control of the region’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and other protests.
This was reported to Ukrayinska Pravda by the journalists themselves. According to the journalists, the armed men in Slovyansk who took the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs, Donetsk Oblast office in Slovyansk, captured them as soon as they approached the territory of the building. Continue reading →
Dmitriy Galko met Ukrainians who were kidnapped in Crimea. He spoke about their meeting in his blog:
From the very beginning, I did not like someone’s light hand in bringing into use the phrase “polite people” when referring to the invaders of Crimea. I think it could be a part of the informational war, which works to voice Putin’s assertion that there can be no intervention if no shot has been fired and that, therefore, there was no intervention in Crimean, but rather something like an operation to restore order.
One who is familiar with the history may recall such interventions, for example, when Hitler took Sudetenland. However, I do want to talk not about the historical analogies but the false image of the “polite” occupier. It took me one meeting in a Kherson hospital with guys who were kept captive in Crimea for nearly two weeks for that image to crumble into dust. Their names are Andrij Schekun and Yuri Shevchenko. The only thing that unites them is the Crimean captivity hell that they experienced. Before, they did not know each other.
Andriy Savchuk, a journalist at Hromadske TV, an independent crowdfunded media source, explained why ‘Svoboda’ members forced a resignation out of acting director of the Ukrainian National Television Company Panteleymonov on March 18, on FB:
“In short, Panteleymonov got beat up because of me. It turned out to be an anecdotal story after we looked into it. So, the whole truth about yesterday’s incident at NTCU, that Miroshnichenko and Co. were watching First National Channel, which in turn was broadcasting Hromadske TV; the releasing editor of which yesterday was yours truly. At the end of production we had a slight mishap: our guest (Oleh Rybachuk) got stuck in a traffic jam and was late. To make up time I asked to turn on the concert broadcast from Red Square in ‘dear old Moscow’ — and we broadcasted this hogwash for 5 minutes — then the ironic comment of Anya Babynets came in and we continued with our telecast. But Svoboda seems to have turned on the TV in just these 5 minutes, just in time to see Valeriya [Russian pop singer] wailing some sort of ‘imperialistic ode’ next to Lenin’s mausoleum and the logo of First National Channel at the top of the screen. Naturally, they freaked out – and the people’s avengers flew at NTCU to deal with Panteleymonov. So that’s the story. Not that it justifies those ‘Svoboda’ members, but at least it shows some logic in this macabre adventure”. Continue reading →
On the road from Crimea to the mainland of Ukraine, Russian soldiers seized equipment and accused the camera crew of the largest Norwegian media corporation, NRK, of spying. Telekritika reports this with reference to NRK’s site. The incident occurred on Tuesday, March 11, when journalists were returning from Crimea by car and passed a checkpoint controlled by unknown masked people.
“The people who are at these checkpoints are Russian soldiers, but without any markings. They do everything they want. Russians deny that it is their security forces. However, the checkpoints are fully occupied by armored personnel carriers, many soldiers and trucks,” said an NRK journalist in a story about the victims. Continue reading →
Yesterday, after it was announced that the Russian military was entering Crimea, I flew to Kyiv. I did not meet any radicals or people wearing masks in the half-empty airport. As for Maidan itself, there were a lot of different people there: city dwellers with their children, older people, women, men who were not hiding their tears, veterans, and young people… I could not find any radicals here, let alone fascists. Continue reading →