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Captain Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for the Southern Operational Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, talks to the Kyiv Independent about the military situation in southern Ukraine. (Oleksandr Gimanov)
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Nataliia Humeniuk has been dismissed from her position as the head of the military's Southern Operational Command press department, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces announced on April 19.

Humeniuk drew criticism from the Ukrainian media association Mediarukh for allegedly preventing journalists from properly covering Russian crimes in Kherson Oblast.

The General Staff's announcement did not mention the reason for Humeniuk's dismissal, but said that the search for her replacement is underway.

Mediarukh sent a letter on April 16 calling for Humeniuk's replacement. The letter was addressed to Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi, and Chief of the General Staff Anatolii Barhylevych and carries 100 signatures of journalists and media workers.

The letter accused Humeniuk of denying journalists access to regions where she oversees the military's work with the media. It claimed that while Ukrainians and the world can witness Russia's efforts to destroy Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast or Ukrainian troops holding the line in Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast, reporters cannot document the war in Kherson Oblast because of Humeniuk's obstruction.

In a comment for the Kyiv Independent, Humeniuk said that there had been no violations of rules on her part and that the "work has always been organized in accordance with operational safety."

Recent campaigns against journalists raise concerns about press freedom in Ukraine
Investigative journalists in Ukraine came under two attacks in just the past week, one involving a threatening home visit and another using covert surveillance. The two incidents are the latest in a series of discrediting campaigns against independent Ukrainian media, often supported by anonymous p…
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