Ukrainian Women in Media Condemn Conviction of Belarusian Journalists Bakhvalova and Chultsova, Express Support
18 February, 2021
Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova

On February 18, two Belarusian journalists of Belsat, Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova, were jailed for two years for streaming from a protest rally. The Belarusian authorities accuse them of organizing mass riots on November 15, 2020 in the "Square of Changes" in Minsk.

Journalists fighting for their sovereign right to freedom of speech and democracy in Belarus have been sentenced to two years in prison.

We consider this an attack by the Belarusian authorities on freedom of journalism and political repression of freedom of speech.

According to the independent Belarusian Association of Journalists, in 2020 alone, there were 480 cases of journalists being detained. In 2021, about twenty cases of attacks and detentions of media representatives have already been recorded.

We emphasize that free media are the key to the development of a democratic state; they provide people with information that influences the helps them form opinions, including political ones.

We note that journalistic activity in Belarus, as in any other country, must be free, pluralistic and independent. It is especially urgent in the times of current protests of Belarusian citizens against the non-democratic regime of the Belarusian authorities.

Due to the professional solidarity with our Belarusian colleagues, we, Ukrainian journalists and other women in media:

-         condemn the suppression of journalism in Belarus;

-         condemn the pressure on the media covering the protests;

-         demand an end to all political repression against journalists;

-         demand the free functioning of the Belarusian media;

-         demand the immediate release of Belsat journalists Katerina Bakhvalova and Daria Chultsova.


Ukrainian women journalists and media representatives:


  1. Yelyzaveta Kuzmenko, Chair of NGO Association Women in Media
  2. Iryna Zemlyana, media expert of the Institute of Mass Information (IMI)
  3. Viktoria Yermolayeva, journalist, editor of the Povaha website
  4. Anastasia Bahalika, journalist of the Hromadske Radio
  5. Natalka Sirobab, journalist of "Kolo" publication (Poltava)
  6. Kateryna Pieshko, Communications Specialist (Kyiv)
  7. Yana Mashkova, media analyst at the Institute of Mass Information
  8. Kateryna Maiboroda, editor of the social media "Nenachasi"
  9. Anastasia Stanko, journalist, editor of the united publishing
  10. Oksana Khmeliovska, Editor-in-Chief of the Chytomo Cultural and Publishing Project
  11. Iryna Andreytsiv, editor of LIGA.Life on
  12. Iryna Siedova, journalist, researcher of Crimea Human Rights Group
  13. Olena Hrazhdan, journalist of Ukrainian Capital
  14. Zoya Krasovska, media researcher
  15. Olena Churanova, fact checker of the project, teacher of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy School of Journalism
  16. Anastasia Diachenko-Roslyk, editor-in-chief of the entertainment department of the morning show on ICTV
  17. Maryna Synhaivska, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian National News Agency Ukrinform
  18. Diana Dutsyk, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Media and Communication
  19. Svitlana Ostapa, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Media Detector, Chair of the Public Broadcasting Supervisory Board of Ukraine
  20. Oksana Romaniuk, Executive Director of the Institute of Mass Information, Member of the Supervisory Board of Public Broadcasting of Ukraine
  21. Valeria Pechenyk, journalist, editor; correspondent of Belsat TV channel in Lviv
  22. Kateryna Kader, journalist, manager of the "Ask a Woman" database on the “Povaha" website.
  23. Hanna Kurtsanovska, journalist of the online magazine Svoi.City
  24. Olena Dub, journalist, media coach
  25. Marichka Varennikova, freelance producer / reporter for foreign media in Ukraine, including the New York Times
  26. Olha Zhuk, Media Detector journalist
  27. Tetyana Troshchynska, Editor-in-Chief of Hromadske Radio
  28. Irynka Hromotska, photojournalist
  29. Oleksandra Horchynska, journalist of the NV website
  30. Nina Kuriata, media coach, consultant
  31. Liudmyla Tiahnyriadno, journalist, editor-in-chief of Ukrainian Radio's Internet projects
  32. Oksana Rasukova, journalist of
  33. Natalia Kurdiukova, co-founder of the Nakipelo media group (
  34. Viktoria Honcharenko, media researcher, communications specialist, freelance journalist
  35. Kateryna Dubovska, head of special projects at OBOZREVATEL
  36. Natalia Lyhachova, head of the NGO and editor-in-chief of the Media Detector portal
  37. Maria Kravchenko, Communications Manager of Lviv Media Forum
  38. Halyna Petrenko, Director of the Media Detector NGO
  39. Kamila Hrabchuk, correspondent, Priamyi TV channel
  40. Anna Denysenko, videographer
  41. Natalia Kindrativ, media consultant, editor-in-chief of Drohobych.City
  42. Liudmyla Pankratova, CEO of CSO Regional Press Development Institute
  43. Aliona Romaniuk, editor-in-chief of the information campaign "On the other side of the news"
  44. Yuliana Lozova, journalist
  45. Olha Sytnik, editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda. Life.
  46. Tetyana Kurmanova, journalist, director of PGO TRK Hromadske Radio
  47. Natalia Bushkovska, medical journalist, freelance journalist
  48. Larysa Denysenko, journalist, human rights activist, member of the Ukrainian PEN
  49. Oksana Maksymeniuk, media lawyer with CSO Regional Press Development Institute
  50.  Luda Kornievych, journalist of the “Fakty" program, ICTV
  51. Yuliana Skibitska, deputy editor-in-chief of Zaborona
  52. Yulia Hrytsenko, media expert, program manager
  53. Valentyna Troian, journalist of the Hromadske Radio
  54. Anastasiya Gudima, head of the Coordination center for broadcasting of National Minorities JSC “UA:PBC”
  55. Kryvenko Olena, creative producer of the Coordination center for broadcasting of National Minorities JSC “UA:PBC”

and others