Criminal cases against journalists in Russia and Ukraine
In both Russia and Ukraine law enforcement agencies continue initiating criminal cases against journalists. Thus, the Investigative Committee of Russia opened a criminal case against the well-known Russian journalist Alexander Nevzorov, as well as against the Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon. At the same time, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine launched criminal cases against the director general of the news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Dmitry Kiselyov, and Rossiya 1 television producer Olga Skabeyeva.
Nevzorov allegedly spread fakes about the bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol, and Gordon – about the actions of the Russian army.
According to investigators, on March 9, Russian journalist Alexander Nevzorov knowingly published on Instagram and YouTube “false information about the deliberate bombing” of the maternity hospital in Mariupol by the Russian military. A statement of the Investigative Committee, dated March 22, said, “The publications were accompanied by inauthentic photographs of civilians affected by the bombing. The source spreading those photos was the Ukrainian press. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation officially announced that the information is false.”
According to the press release, the investigators want to establish the place of Nevzorov’s stay “in order to carry out investigative and procedural actions with him.” BBC says Nevzorov’s whereabouts are unknown, but on March 18 he was on a trip to Israel.
Referring to the criminal case, the journalist addressed Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee, via his Twitter page, noting that the article of the Criminal Code on “military fake news”, in his opinion, contradicts the Constitution, and that there are pictures and video materials proving that the maternity hospital in Mariupol was destroyed. “All world media were unanimous in the assessment of this tragedy,” Nevzorov wrote.
According to the website of the Investigative Committee, a criminal case was also initiated against Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon for “public calls to unleash an aggressive war; actions aimed at inciting hatred or enmity on grounds of nationality; public dissemination of deliberately false information about the actions of the Russian army under the guise of reliable reporting.”
The media also wrote about the reaction of Dmitry Gordon to the charges against him. “It proves that I am doing my job honestly. Russia’s army is killing people… There is almost nothing left of some cities. The Ukrainian military are giving their lives for our freedom,” Gordon said.
Skabeyeva and Kiselyov in sight of the Ukrainian law enforcement bodies
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine announced about the charges filed against Russian TV presenters Olga Skabeyeva and Dmitry Kiselyov. They are accused of incitement to violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Under these charges they risk life imprisonment. “For the sake of justifying war crimes and crimes against humanity in the eyes of the Russian citizens, the leadership of the aggressor country engaged a number of media outlets, public figures, and famous personalities. According to the investigation, propagandists – journalists Dmitry Kiselyov and Olga Skabeyeva – have repeatedly justified the actions of the military-political leadership of the aggressor state and demanded the seizure by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of the sovereign territories of Ukraine,” the official statement of the prosecutor general of Ukraine reads.
Ria.ru wrote, citing the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), that Ukrainian authorities would place Dmitry Kiselyov and the journalist Olga Skabeyeva on the international wanted list.
Earlier, in a conversation with RIA Novosti, Kiselyov called the accusations of the Ukrainian side, according to which he is threatening the national security of Ukraine, “ridiculous”. He expressed regret that “the Ukrainian state has reached such a degree of vulnerability that it feels threatened by a journalist”.
Earlier, a Ukrainian court ruled on the arrest of Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the RT television and the news agency Rossiya Segodnya. The reason for initiating proceedings were the statements about Donbas and the “financing of the violent change of constitutional order” in Ukraine.