U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, met with the representatives of independent Ukrainian media outlets, including the Kyiv Independent, on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.
The meeting at the ambassador's residence in Kyiv was also attended by the editors of Ukrainska Pravda, Suspilne, Slidstvo Info, RFE/RL's investigative program Schemes, as well as Oksana Romaniuk, the head of the Institute of Mass Information.
"On World Press Freedom Day, I met with some of the courageous journalists committed to reporting on Russia's brutal war and helping build a stronger future for Ukraine," Brink wrote on Twitter.
The media representatives and Brink discussed the challenges and dangers faced by Ukrainian journalists working during Russia's war and amid restrictions of the martial law.
They also talked about the media's essential contribution to informing the world about the war of aggression that Moscow continues to wage, as well as the critical role they play in Ukraine's development as a democratic country.
“Free and independent media are a central part of our values as a country, values we share as democracies," Brink told the Kyiv Independent. "I admire the work Ukrainian and international journalists have done telling the truth about Russia’s full-scale invasion, often at great risk. The work journalists do strengthens Ukraine during the war and will also contribute to Ukraine's success and progress on its European path.”
Earlier on May 3, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry reported, citing the Institute of Mass Information, that Russian forces have committed over 500 crimes against journalists in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2022.
According to the ministry, 15 Ukrainian and foreign journalists have been killed by Russia's full-scale war, including nine who were on assignment in the combat zones.
Ukraine ranked 79th in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders on May 3.
Brink was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on May 19, 2022, after the position was vacant for three years.