A new monitoring of the Crimean Human Rights Group showed that the Russian Federation kept on blocking unlawfully independent web resources in the peninsula.
For instance, at the moment of monitoring at least 12 providers in 12 Crimean settlements are blocking completely websites of 18 Ukrainian media. 9 websites more are accessible only in some settlements from the monitoring list.
According to the survey findings, at least 12 providers in 12 Crimean settlements are blocking completely websites of 13Ukrainian media:
Cenzor.net, Sled.net, Blackseanews, Glavcom, Glavnoye, Hromads’ke Radio, Center of Journalist Investigations, Strichka, RBK Ukraine, Zerkalo Nedeli, Kherson Daily.
The websites of LinkedIn, Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ministry of Integration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir are also completely blocked.
The websites of QHA, Informatsionnoye Soprotivleniye (Information Resistance), UAinfo, Podrobnosti, ToneTo, TSN, Ukrayinska Pravda are accessible only in one settlement of 12 monitored.
The websites of Ukrinform and Apostrof are accessible in 3 settlements from the list.
The website accessibility was checked by monitors in June 2021, using networks of 12 different providers in 12 Crimean settlements: Crimea IX (Alushta), Belnet (Belogorsk), SevStar (Sevastopol), SimStar (Simferopol), YaltaNet (Yalta), SkyLine (Krasnoperekopsk District), Gigabite (Bakhchisarai), Aleks (Kerch), Sivash.net (Krasnoperekopsk), Komfort X (Lenino and Feodosiya), Miranda-Media (Yevpatoria), and Feonet (Feodosiya).
A constant blocking of key Ukrainian independent online-media in the territory of the occupied Crimea violates the right to access to the information for the peninsula residents. Today, a smooth operation of professional independent media that inform the people regularly on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic expansion, is vital for the Ukrainian society, including the residents of the occupied territories.
Keeping on such restrictions of the independent mass media in Crimea, the Russian Federation not only restricts the freedom of speech, but also poses additional risks for the health and life of Crimea residents.
The problem of blocking Ukrainian media is also presented in the Strategy for De-occupation and Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, approved by the President of Ukraine on March 24, 2021. The document says that since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation has been consistently and massively blocking access to Ukrainian information resources, including the media, official websites of state authorities of Ukraine and local self-governments, websites of individual public associations on the Internet. This results into the situation when the Russian propaganda information resources become sometimes the only information sources accessible for the Ukrainian nationals in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine.