Freedom of speech is under pressure in Ukraine: journalists of faced a massive wave of threats and hate

Читати українською.

Amnesty International Ukraine stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainian journalists, who categorically condemn the wave of hate, threats, and pressure received by independent Ukrainian media Texty ( after publishing an analytical study on the political, media, and expert environment in the United States, which influences decision-making about further support for Ukraine in the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Veronika Velch, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ukraine, said: “Texty is one of the first and most reliable data journalism platforms in Ukraine. The entire Ukrainian media community expressed its solidarity, and now it’s time for the global community to say “no” to the supression of freedom of speech. Texty published a detailed study based on open sources, demonstrating how Russian influence and disinformation impact the information landscape in the USA. As a result, they themselves became the target of threats and hatred, which are provoked and spread on social media. We stand against any supression of freedom of speech and demand justice”.

In the study titled ‘Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it’, journalists did not negate the freedom of expression in the United States or elsewhere. Texty solely pointed out the opposition of certain organizations and individuals to supporting Ukraine, noting that many of their arguments align with Russian propaganda narratives regarding Ukraine.

Following the publication of the study, Texty faced a massive wave of threats, pressure, and hate. Ukrainian journalists and media organizations, participants of the Media Movement, state that all the intense pressure on the Ukrainian research media comes from representatives and supporters of the Republican Party of the USA, who should defend freedom of speech as a fundamental component of democracy and be a reference for other countries.

Thus, in particular, Daniel McAdams, Director of the Ron Paul Institute, alleged that Texty is “funded by the U.S. government” (Texty does not receive direct funding from the American budget, only via aid agencies with their own independent financial policies) and “hate American citizens”; congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene allegedly claimed that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is behind the publication of the independent media and called the publication a “list of enemies”; senator J.D. Vance and U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz appealed to the House Appropriations Committee to cease support for, which constitutes direct pressure on freedom of speech and an independent media, on June 11, the committee has passed the resolution; Elon Musk called for the media to be deprived of any donor support and urged to include Texty in the list of terrorist organizations.

Thousands of comments containing threats, including physical violence, against Texty are spreading on social media platforms.

Ukrainian media organizations remind that if someone disagrees with journalist content, they should voice their perspective but cannot resort to financial pressure or violence or advocate for including journalists in the terrorist list.

Together with the Ukrainian media community, united in the Media Movement, Amnesty International Ukraine calls on the U.S. Congress and Senate:

  1. To cease the pressure on and not exploit Ukrainian media for internal American political competition in the run-up to the upcoming elections in the USA.
  2. To demonstrate that you truly support the principles of freedom of speech and preparedness to defend independent media by revoking decisions that could limit the freedom of expression of the independent Ukrainian press.
  3. To conduct own investigation and determine whether the facts outlined in the publication demonstrate the dissemination of narratives resonant to aggressive Kremlin propaganda in the United States.

Додаткова інформація

The study titled “Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it”  was published on June 6, 2024.

Texty is an independent Ukrainian media founded in 2010. It received the European Press Prize in 2024, Sigma Award in 2020, National Award for “High Standards of Journalism” in 2019, and many other awar. Texty is included on The List of Transparent and Responsible Media, which is compiled by The Institute of Mass Information, a Kyiv-based NGO that defends journalists’ rights.

The Media Movement is a community that has united journalists from leading Ukrainian media, investigative journalists, and experts from independent media organizations. The Media Movement was launched on February 5, 2019.