Media pressure results in dismissal of Southern Defense Forces’ spokesperson

Natalia Humeniuk
Natalia Humeniuk

Colonel Natalia Humeniuk was removed from her position at the Southern Defense Forces Center for Strategic Communications, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces announced on Telegram on April 19.

This decision is part of routine personnel changes. "A decision has been made regarding the completion of the mission and the removal of Colonel Natalia Humeniuk from the forces and assets of the corresponding military grouping effective April 19, 2024," the statement detailed.

The search is now on for a new spokesperson for the Southern Defense Forces. The General Staff assured that the Center for Strategic Communications would continue its normal operations and maintain collaboration with media representatives.

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The move comes after nearly a hundred journalists and media representatives called on the military leadership on April 16 to replace Colonel Humeniuk. They criticized her for allegedly prohibiting coverage of Russian war crimes in her jurisdiction.

Journalists also reported being denied access to Kherson Oblast on the day of the Kakhovka dam explosion. They claimed this restriction resulted in "global media being filled with references to Russian 'war correspondents,' as information from us was almost absent."

In her defense, Humeniuk responded on April 17, stating the media's allegations "mentioned facts without any evidence." She emphasized that wartime operations must prioritize safety and security.

Read also: Journalists identify 50,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Freedom of Speech, announced on April 18 that he would review the journalists' appeal calling for Humeniuk's replacement.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine