2013 Record-breakingly bad for freedom of speech in Ukraine

2013 Record-breakingly bad for freedom of speech in Ukraine


Tetyana Chornovol around 2 weeks after the Dec 25 savage attack on her 

The Institute for Mass Information [IMI] reports that 2013 was the worst year for freedom in speech since they began monitoring 11 years ago.

496 infringements were recorded against 283 in 2012, a one and a half times increase.

The figure is also 6 times higher than in 2009 (79) this being the last year before president and government changed in Ukraine.

The largest increase was in number of cases of obstruction of journalists carrying out their professional duties – 129 against 96 in 2012.  The IMI’s Barometer of Freedom of Speech recorded the most cases in February (14); March (15); June (15); and October (15).


There were 101 attacks against 65 in 2012.  70 attacks were linked with journalists covering protests; illegal construction work; and mass events.

11 media offices sustained some kind of attack (from shots in the windows to cut cables).


63 cases.  If in 2012 individual journalists resigned in protest against censorship and dzynsa, or commissioned news reporting, in 2013 entire journalist teams resigned. At least 5 journalist teams were forced to leave their media due to censorship and pressure on editorial policy (TVi; Korespondent; Forbes; TV Inter and others).

DDoS attacks and cybercrime

49 cases which is an unprecedented number.

35 journalists were subjected to threats and surveillance.

33 cases of political pressure on media and journalists:  30 through lawsuits and 13 connected with economic pressure.  In all of 2012 there were 43 cases of indirect pressure on media and journalists.

8 journalists were searched; 7 detained in the course of their work.

The most high-profile events in 2013;

the savage attack on investigative journalist and civic activist Tetyana Chornovol

(see Chornovol believes Yanukovych ordered the attack on her   and links below)

mass resignation from TVi and the Ukrainian Media Holding after it was bought by Serhiy Kurchenko which basically killed any trust in the publications Forbes Ukraine and Korespondent.   (see Media Stockpiling,   Divide and rule indefinitely)

IMI notes that, despite the above, only 5 prosecutions under Article 171 of the Criminal Code [obstruction of journalists carrying out their duties] reached the courts.

Slightly abridged from the report here

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