Recent Incidents

Media Risk Map


The present extensive study consists of 12 parts and represents series of reports about attacks on journalists, bloggers and media workers in 12 post-Soviet states covering 2017-2019. The term ‘media workers’ includes journalists, camerapersons, photographers and other employees and managers of traditional and digital media, as well as bloggers and online-activists.

The aims of this study are:

  1. To conduct a qualitative analysis of various types of attacks/threats against media workers and analyse its dynamics within the research period;
  2. To determine what/who is the main source of threat to media workers;
  3. To identify the correlation between the number or attacks against media workers and external events.

The study is based on data collected by content analysis of open sources in Russian, English and the relevant state language. Expert interviews with journalists were also used in compiling the report.

According to JFJ’s methodology, there are three main types of attacks (further divided into subcategories) against media workers:

  • Attacks that endanger life, health and liberty (physical)
  • Non-physical and/or cyber-attacks and threats.
  • Attacks via judicial or economic means.

The Justice for Journalists Foundation, together with its partners and experts, carries out weekly monitoring of attacks against media workers in all post-Soviet countries excluding the Baltic states, the results of which are published on the Media Risk Map in both Russian and English. The available data covers the period from 2017 onwards.


Attacks types

Physical attacks and threats to life, liberty, and health

  • Abduction, taking captivity/hostage, illegal deprivation of liberty
  • Attempted murder
  • Beating / injury / torture resulting in death
  • Death while in custody or as a result of loss of health in captivity
  • Disappearance
  • Fatal accident
  • Murder
  • Non-fatal accident
  • Non-fatal attack / beating / injury / torture
  • Pressure on a media worker via physical pressure on relatives and loved ones
  • Punitive psychiatric treatment not resulting in death
  • Punitive psychiatric treatment resulting in death
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Sudden unexplained death
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempt
  • Unlawful military conscription

Non-physical and/or cyber attacks and threats

  • Breaking into email / social media accounts / computer / smartphone
  • Bullying, intimidation, pressure, threats of violence and death, including cyber-
  • Cyber-, DDOS, and hacker attack on a media outlet
  • Damage to/ seizure of property, vehicles, equipment, documents, print media circulation
  • Damage to/seizure of the residence / work premises
  • Defamation, spreading libel about a media worker or media outlet
  • Identity theft / phishing / doxxing
  • Illegal impediments to journalistic activity
  • Pressure on a media worker via non-physical pressure on relatives and loved ones
  • Pressure on a source, including threats of violence and death
  • Trolling
  • Wiretapping / surveillance without a court decree

Attacks via judicial or economic means

  • Administrative arrest, remand, pre-trial detention, prison
  • Administrative offence / fine
  • Arrest of bank account
  • Authorised travel ban (movement inside a country or specific region / town)
  • Ban on engaging in journalistic activity
  • Ban on entering the country, denial or revocation of a visa/accreditation
  • Ban on leaving the country
  • Charges of extremism, links with terrorists, inciting hate, high treason, calling for the overthrow of the constitutional order (2)
  • Charges of libel, insult, reputational damage (1)
  • Confiscation of property, vehicles, equipment, documents
  • Court trial
  • Criminal case, excluding (1) and (2)
  • Dismissal / involuntary dismissal /forced quitting of the profession
  • Forced deportation, Extradition 
  • Forced emigration as a result of legal / economic pressure
  • House arrest
  • Interrogation
  • Pressure on a media worker via judicial and/or economic means on relatives and loved ones
  • Search with a court decree
  • Search without a court decree
  • Selective application of repressive laws
  • Short-term detention
  • Shutting down a media outlet / blocking an Internet site/ request to remove or block the article, arrest imposed on print media circulation
  • Suspended sentence
  • Unauthorised travel ban (inside country, region or town)
  • Wiretapping/ surveillance with a court decree