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Solidarity with Ukranian colleagues on Journalists’ Day

JOURNALISTS' Day in Ukraine is on 6 June. It commemorates the day in 1994 when the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) became a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), of which the NUJ is also a part. The NUJU and the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) are the two Ukrainian affiliates of the IFJ.


Signage at the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International asking arrivals from Ukraine in need of assistance to identify themselves

Together with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ, of which the NUJ is also an affiliate), the IFJ has been making considerable efforts to help journalists in Ukraine. See here and here for recent updates. London Freelance Branch voted in its March meeting to donate £500 to the IFJ/EFJ Safety Fund for Journalists for Ukraine - see the message from the IFJ/EFJ thanking the Branch.

Shortly before Journalists' Day, the Freelance received the following communication from Ricardo Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the European Federation of Journalists, of which the NUJ is also an affiliate, in which he passed on a message from the NUJU's Sergiy Tomilenko:

"I am sending you a message of thanks from our Ukrainian colleague Sergiy Tomilenko (NUJU):

Thanks to the solidarity of EFJ and IFJ affiliates, through the IFJ-EFJ Safety Fund for Journalists in Ukraine, the three regional journalist support centres in Ukraine have provided assistance, in 50 days of operation, to 196 journalists, 78 per cent of whom are journalists working for local media.

The Network of Journalists' Solidarity Centres, with the support of the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ), has been working successfully for 50 days... This initiative is really very important and useful. Ukrainian journalists are very grateful for such safe centers, where they have the opportunity to get help and working space, and to talk to colleagues.'

You'll find enclosed the first activity report of our Journalists' Solidarity Centres.

Please continue to show your solidarity. Every year, on 6 June Ukraine celebrates Journalist's Day. On 6 June 1994 the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine became a member of the International Federation of Journalists. On this occasion, NUJU and IMTUU have planned to hold joint events in our Journalists' Solidarity Centres on June. The evacuated and local journalists will gather in all three Centres. We invite EFJ affiliates to send them a message of solidarity before 3 June.

Thanks for your solidarity.

The three Journalists' Solidarity Centres are in western Ukraine - at Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi. In the 50 days from 5 April to 25 May, they responded to 196 requests for assistance, of which three fifths were from women journalists. Just under a quarter of journalists seeking assistance were from national media; the remainder were from Ukraine's regional media - most of the regional media journalists were from Donetsk, Kyiv city and region, Kherson or Mariupol.

The majority of requests for help made to the Solidarity Centres were for financial assistance. Solidarity Centres were able to provide financial help to 64 journalists; give out 67 first aid kits or items of safety equipment, including bulletproof vests and helmets; provide medical training for 30 people; purchase or rent 46 items of technical equipment including laptops for journalists; and to provide workspaces with phone and internet connections for 20 media workers.

They also helped with 20 job searches by journalists, assisted three media outlets with "the restart of the media", provided temporary housing for one journalist and delivered "clothes and household items" to ten media workers in need. "Other types of assistance (informational, psychological, food)" were provided to 24 media workers.

The Solidarity Centres also put on 10 events in the same 50-day period, mostly in the Centres themselves, some in other venues.