Russian Defence Ministry confirms missing Ukrainian journalist is in custody — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Russian Defence Ministry confirms missing Ukrainian journalist is in custody

The Russian Defence Ministry has confirmed that Viktoria Roshchyna, a Ukrainian journalist who disappeared in August while reporting from occupied eastern Ukraine, is in custody in Russia, the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) said on Monday.

In a letter to Volodymyr Roshchyn, the journalist’s father, dated 17 April, the ministry wrote: “According to the information we have available, Viktoria Vladimirovna Roshchyna, born on 6 October 1996, is being detained and is on the territory of the Russian Federation.”

Roshchyna’s family had previously contacted the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol, but was informed that she was not facing any charges in that jurisdiction. Letters to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, the Investigative Committee and Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights had gone unanswered, the NUJU said.

Upon receipt of the letter from the Russian Defence Ministry on 22 April, Roshchyn contacted the International Red Cross, who confirmed that the journalist was being held in Russia, but said that it had not been granted access to her, the NUJU continued.

Roshchyna left Ukraine for Poland on 27 July and planned to travel to eastern Ukraine via Russia three days later. She last made contact with her editors on 3 August, reporting that she had spent several days crossing the border. She was last known to be reporting from an occupied area of southeastern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region.

Roshchyna covered Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine from the early days of the war and was detained for 10 days by Russia’s Federal Security Service in the occupied city of Berdyansk in March 2022. Roshchyna worked as a freelance journalist for independent news outlets Ukrainska Pravda, Hromadske, and Radio Free Europe. The NUJU has called for her immediate and unconditional release.

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