Kyiv, December 26, 2014 – General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, have issued a new press card for journalists working in the ATO zone. Acting Chief of the General Staff press-service Vladyslav Seleznyov and Tetiana Popova, advisor to the Minister of Defense, informed about this during the press briefing in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
The press card is made to make work of journalists working in the ATO zone easier. “Previously, journalists had to acquire a short-term accreditation from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for a week or a month. Independent journalists encountered difficulties when crossing block posts, as they needed to confirm their legal status every time. Journalists with a new press card can work in the ATO zone for 6 months; once it expires, it is possible to prolong it for the same period. “All journalists who have been accredited by SBU can get the press card without additional checks. The procedure for those who ask for authorization for the first time is much simplified, while the time of getting the press card depends on the responsiveness of SBU,” Vladyslav Seleznyov explained.
The press card has telephone numbers of the ATO press-office in Kramatorsk and that of the Ministry of Defence in Kyiv. “We are doing this for journalists’ own safety in order to prevent them from coming under fire,” the General Staff spokesman added.
Also, a new website ukraineunderattack.org was presented during the briefing where you can find a step-by-step guide of how to get the press card, as well as see the latest updates from the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone.