We, Russian journalists and media workers, are deeply shocked and saddened by the fact that the authorities of our country have started a war against Ukraine. This treacherous step may lead to the deaths of many citizens of both countries and to enormous destruction. For the majority, war means rising prices, a crashing economy, and impoverishment in conditions of international isolation.
Our colleagues from various countries are reporting on what is currently happening in the conflict zone. They are risking their own health and their lives right now, doing this work that is so important for society. We demand that the safety of all journalists working in the region be guaranteed.
Amidst the news about Russia’s military operations, Roskomnadzor reminded media organizations of their potential criminal liability for “knowingly spreading false information,” insisting on the “duty” of Russian media to publish information only from official—ie, government—sources.
We, in turn, want to remind the government that the professional duty of all journalists is to reveal the truth to the public, and not to peddle in propaganda. Journalists must have the right to describe significant events honestly and from all sides in the interests of the citizenry, and not of the politicians, particularly in times of war. We urge our colleagues to be careful and attentive, to carefully check all in-coming information.
This war cannot be justified. We will have to deal with its consequences for many years, if not many decades.
We demand the swift removal of the Russian army and cessation of the military operation in Ukraine!