OSCE SHDM I Side Event

13 March 2023

16:30 – 17:30

Bibliotheksaal, Vienna

Media freedom is one of the pillars of modern democracy. Free expression of opinion contributes to the development of a safe and equal society. In times of war and armed conflict, journalists face huge obstacles and threats not only to their professional activities, but also to their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. The side event seeks to share knowledge on the obstacles Ukrainian media currently face in the context of Russia’s full-scale war of aggression: threats from Russian military forces, forced disappearances, politically motivated imprisonment, and other measures designed to silence them. We will share stories from across Ukraine, including Crimea, of the work done by journalists throughout the war and under occupation, persecution of the media and journalists, including war crimes, and the use by Russian forces of disinformation.


  • Tetiana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Centre ZMINA
  • Pavlo Kolotvin, Ukrainian journalist, representative of Institute of Mass Information in Odesa
  • Elmaz Akimova, Citizen journalist from Crimea
  • Moderated by Dave Elseroad, Human Rights House Foundation

This side event will bring together Ukrainian journalists and civil society representatives and address the following questions:

  • What are the most pressing issues facing independent media and journalists in Ukraine, including occupied Crimea?
  • Why is the work of journalists in Ukraine vital?
  • How can participating States support independent Ukrainian media and journalists?