One Year after Maidan there is a Lack of Independent Informations in Ukraine

Published: Feb 16, 2015 Reading time: 3 minutes
One Year after Maidan there is a Lack of Independent Informations in Ukraine

Ukraine remembers the one year anniversary of the bloody incidents in Kiev. Almost one hundred people lost their lives and almost five hundred people were injured during the three days (18th to 20th February) of clashes between protesters from Euromaidan and riot forces. The riots marked a breaking point for future developments in Ukraine’s situation. Viktor Yanukovych left the country and the focus moved from Kiev to Crimea and later to the East of the country.

People in Need, which has been active in the Ukraine for more than 10 years, sent a team of paramedics and doctors to Kiev after those bloody incidents in Maidan. Members of the Czech medical team arrived on February 21st, 2014, and opened their own clinic there. They were responsible for the ciritical care of injured parients, who were transported back to the Czech Republic with MEDEVAC for more urgent treatment. Moreover, People in Need tried to ensure the safety of its partners and activists, who were potential targets of persecution, threats, and even torture. Olena Ivansiv, People in Need coordinator, said: “We helped them with transportation to safer locations, and provided them with necessary medical care. We also offered psychotherapeutic care, and the opportunity for activists from Maidan, Crimea, and the East of Ukraine, who were all traumatized, to rest in Prague.”

People In Need also continued to cooperate with a network of legal consultants that received long term assistance in Crimea. People affiliated with this network changed their site of action after the penninsula was annexed by Russia in order to better serve those who escaped from Crimea and other Eastern regions of Ukraine.

There are missing objective informations in Eastern Ukraine

A year after the incidents on Maidan, People in Need is in cooperation with independent journalists in eastern Ukraine. The head of the Eastern-european program, Ivana Skálová, notes: “There is a limited ability to follow up on objective information from independent media in eastern Ukraine, especially in the case of regional media, which are often connected to official Russian media.”

“Beside the humanitarian crisis, we perceive a lack of reliable information as one of the main problems of the country’s east. That is why we focused on the support of independent journalists in our work,” she added.

People in Need supports newly emerging teams of journalists, who are attempting to offer independent and critical regional news despite very real security risks. The coordinator of the Ukrainian branch of People in Need, Olena Ivantsialso, said: “The journalists that we work with risk their lives for their work- some of them were in captivity already. They are under the strong psychological pressure of armed groups, but even so they try to continue their work.” People In Need lends support to six independent teams of journalists from Donetsk, Luhans, Zaporozhye, Kramatorsk and Mariupol. First, it supported independent TV channel Hromadske TV Doneččyny. The station’s creation was inspired by the  succes of the Hromadske TV project (the Civil TV) in Kiev. Additionally, news server was created thanks to financial support from People In Need. This server is one of the key sources of information from Luhansk, which is controlled by separatists, and inaccessible in any other way. The news portal, which provides news from areas of Donetsk and is monitored by separatists, is also supported by People in Need.

“The medias supported by our organisation play important roles in collecting information about the current situation in eastern Ukraine - for example, some reports produced by Hromadske TV Zaporižžja reached more than 1,200,000 views on YouTube. Roughly 300,000 people visit daily,” Ivantsiv said.

People in Need has also provided humanitarian aid to those affected by the war in eastern Ukraine since August 2014.For more information about current humanitarian Aid, visit our website HERE.

Author: AP