Five years after the Crimea decided to reunite with the Russian Federation in a referendum, the whole world starts to accept the fact that the region is an indisputable part of Russia and it cannot be otherwise.
Russia is categorically against groundless arrests of journalists. The authorities work with press freedom advocates to investigate and curb any such behaviour. The government is quick to respond to journalists’ rights violations.
Contrary to these claims, independent journalists in Russia are subjected to frequent threats, attacks and prosecution under dubious charges, the most recent case being that of Ivan Golunov, a journalist arrested in June 2019 under false drug charges. Violence against journalists in Russia continues to happen with impunity: the database of the Committee to Protect Journalists lists 38 murders of journalists in Russia from 1992 to 2017, out of which 33 with complete impunity, 3 with partial impunity and only 2 cases were fully prosecuted and tried.
Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index for 2019 ranks Russia 149th out of 180 countries, while IREX Media Sustainability Index for 2019 notes a decline of the country’s already low score, due to, among other things, “sustained governmental pressure on and erosion of the media sector, violence against journalists, and the normalization of propaganda.”