Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine’s physical media infrastructure. Earlier this week, Russian forces shelled the infrastructure of Suspilne, Ukraine’s public broadcaster, in the southern city of Mykolaiv. 

According to Suspilne’s statement, no people were killed or wounded as a result of the attack, and the broadcaster continues operations in Mykolaiv. The city is under Ukrainian control, but it’s heavily shelled by Russian forces as it’s located close to Russia-occupied territory in the Kherson region.

This attack marks a continuation of Russia’s efforts to quell Ukrainian TV and radio broadcasting by inflicting physical damage on the infrastructure. Most notably, in the first days of the war, a Russian missile hit a TV tower in Kyiv, leaving five people dead. At the same time, Ukrainian broadcasting largely remains operational, and the country’s government has worked to provide digital alternatives

Late last week, Russian authorities added 9 people to the list of “foreign agents”, including some high-profile independent journalists and analysts. The most notable additions are filmmaker Yuri Dud, who runs a highly popular YouTube channel, as well as political scientists and commentator Ekaterina Schulmann.

As The Moscow Times reminds, organisations and people with the “foreign agent” designation are subjected to arduous bureaucratic scrutiny as they “must disclose sources of funding, undergo audits and accompany all their texts, videos and social media posts with a caption mentioning [the designation]”.

However, at the time when Russia’s media crackdown got so intense as to shut down multiple remaining news organisations and force dozens of journalists into exile, “foreign agent” designations seem less relevant than they were a year ago. For example, Mediazona decided this week to drop the large captions mentioning its designation on the website and social media. 

While Russia may have lost the information war in Ukraine and in the West, Russian propaganda still reaches beyond the country’s borders – particularly in Central Asia.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued a statement this week calling on the governments in the Central Asian republics to stop silencing journalists covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The region includes five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Detailing the cases of arrests and other ways of silencing journalists over the war coverage, RSF urges the governments of the five countries to “allow journalists to cover the war and its consequences as they see fit.”

The New York Times has officially announced its new top editor. Joe Kahn, current managing editor, will become the new executive editor at one of the most influential news organisations in the world

Kahn will replace Dean Baquet, who led the NYT newsroom for eight years and was the first African American to hold this position. Under Baquet’s watch, the newspaper expanded its readership and its newsroom significantly. The publication currently has around 10 million digital subscriptions, while the newsroom is the biggest in its history.

Kahn is 57 years old, he has worked as managing editor – the second-highest position in the newsroom – since 2016. Before switching to management positions, he was a foreign correspondent, particularly known for his reporting from China. Kahn won two Pulitzer Prizes, in 1994 and 2006. 

Baquet is expected to retire in June. Kahn has already announced his leadership team – Marc Lacey and Carolyn Ryan will be promoted to managing editors.

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