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Killed Kremlin media staffer propagandist, not journalist, Ukrainian media orgs say

Demanding international groups condemn Russian state propaganda, Ukrainian media insisted a slain RIA employee in Ukraine was not a real journalist but a propagandist.
RIA Telegram post about the death of its staffer Rostislav Zhuravlyov; he is not journalist, say Ukrainian media
Killed Kremlin media staffer propagandist, not journalist, Ukrainian media orgs say

Ukrainian media organizations have strongly rejected international groups labeling a Russian RIA staffer recently killed in Ukraine a “journalist,” insisting he was a propagandist who helped lay the groundwork for Russia’s invasion.

In a lengthy statement, the Media Movement coalition of Ukrainian journalists, media outlets, and NGOs responded to UNESCO and the International Federation of Journalists calling Rostislav Zhuravlyov, an employee of the Kremlin news agency RIA Novosti, “the 14th journalist who died since the beginning of the war in Ukraine” on 24 February 2022.

The Ukrainian groups emphasized that propagandists are “direct antagonists of journalists” whose actions actively destroy press freedom and who should be held accountable for “instigation of the war and the mass killing of Ukrainian citizens.”

They provided evidence that Zhuravlyov was himself an “active participant” in Russia’s 2014 seizure of administrative buildings in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast rather than an objective journalist. This included social media posts showing Zhuravlyov posing with weapons and indicating he took part in Russia’s “occupation of Ukraine.”

Rostislav Zhuravlyov is pictured next to Pavel Gubarev, the Kremlin-appointed “head” of Russia’s puppet “Donetsk People’s Republics” in eastern Ukraine, on a news article that cited Zhuravlyov’s twitter account, reporting that he, as the leader of the Sverdlov regional department of Russian Eduard Limonov’s National-Bolshevik party “Another Russia” negotiated with the SBU to release Gubarev.


Zhuravlyov was a propagandist
Social media post by Zhuravlyov, who boasts that he participated in storming a Ukrainian administrative building in Donetsk and hoisting the Russian flag on it


Russian propagandists not journlaists
After Russia’s occupation of Crimea and creation of puppet “republics” in eastern Ukraine, Rostislav Zhuravlyov took part in the Zarya Russian-led battalion, fighting against the Ukrainian army with Russian weapons in a conflict Russia presented as “civil strife”


RIA Novosti Zhuravlyov propagandist
Zhuravlyov ridicules a Ukrainian word on a sign in a settlement he seized as part of Russia’s proxy troops in Ukraine

The statement also noted Zhuravlyov was a member of the Russian radical nationalist party “National Bolshevik Party” and headed its Sverdlovsk branch.

In addition, the Ukrainian organizations stressed RIA Novosti is not an independent media outlet but is financed and fully controlled by the Russian state. They said RIA Novosti is part of the Kremlin’s propaganda conglomerate “Rossiya Segodnya” led by Dmitri Kiselyov which actively publishes disinformation about Ukraine.

The groups accused RIA Novosti and other Kremlin propaganda of laying the groundwork for invasion over years by proliferating false narratives about the supposed Nazi seizure of power and flourishing of Nazism in Ukraine.

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As an example, they cited RIA Novosti’s publication in April 2022 of an article by Russian political technologist Timofey Sergeytsev that called for Ukraine’s complete destruction as a state and the extermination of Ukrainians.

“The author equated all Ukrainians with Nazis, and also incited Russians to radical military actions with the help of judgments such as ‘Ukrainian Nazism poses no less, but a greater threat to peace and to Russia than German Nazism of Hitler’s origin’,” the Ukrainian media organizations wrote.

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In conclusion, the Media Movement called on international groups like UNESCO and IFJ to “openly condemn Russian state propaganda and recognize it as a threat to peace and an act of aggression, in accordance with Article 30 of the UN Charter.”

The statement rejected excuses that propagandists simply present an “alternative viewpoint,” saying this claim “must be decisively rejected.”


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