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Russian authorities confirm detainment of Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchyna

by Abbey Fenbert May 28, 2024 2:45 AM 2 min read
A demonstrator holds a sign picturing Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchyna, currently detained in Russian-occupied territory, for World Press Freedom Day 2024. (National Union of Journalists of Ukraine Press Service)
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The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that Ukrainian journalist Viktoria Roshchyna, who went missing in August 2023, is being detained in Russian-occupied territory, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) reported on May 27.

Volodymyr Roshchyn, Viktoria's father, received a letter from the Russian Defense Ministry confirming his daughter's captivity.

"According to available information, Roshchyna Viktoria Volodymyrivna ... has been detained and is currently on the territory of the Russian Federation," the letter said.

Volodymyr Roshchyn shared the letter with NUJU and also contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to verify the Russian Defense Ministry's claims. The ICRC  confirmed that Roshchyna was being detained, but said they had no access to her at present.

Roshchyna disappeared on Aug. 3, 2023 while reporting in Russian-occupied territory. Her father received the defense ministry's letter on April 22, 2024. According to Roshchyna's family, letters to Russia's Investigative Committee, Prosecutor General's Office, and Ombudsman remain unanswered.

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Roshchyna has covered Russia's full-scale invasion for multiple Ukrainian news outlets, including Hromadske, Ukrainska Pravda, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

In March 2022, Roshchyna was detained for 10 days by Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers while leaving Berdiansk in the direction of Mariupol. As a condition of her release, she was forced to record a video saying Russian forces had saved her life.

The International Women's Media Foundation awarded Roshchyna the Courage in Jouranlism Award in 2022.

Roshchyna's family told NUJU that they filed a request the Russian proxy prosecutor's office in occupied Mariupol. They were told that no case had been opened against Roshchyna.

BBC Russia reported in January 2024 that thousands of Ukrainian civilians in Russian captivity are detained without charges, trials, or access to legal counsel.

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