Systematic attacks on journalists in Russia and other post-Soviet states

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, and the House Freedom of the Press Caucus held a joint briefing featuring opening remarks by the Co-Chairs of the House Freedom of the Press Caucus, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH).

A free press is an essential pillar of democracy, keeping governments accountable and citizens informed. Autocratic regimes seek to intimidate and silence the press by systematically targeting journalists. A muzzled independent media is powerless to prevent the domination of the state-driven news narrative and public misinformation.

Today, journalists in Russia and post-Soviet states risk intimidation, harassment, arrest, and even murder for their work. Those who criticize the government or investigate sensitive issues like corruption do so at their own peril. More often than not, cases remain unresolved and victims and families do not see justice.

This briefing addressed key questions regarding journalists in Russia and other post-Soviet states: their important role and impact; concerns over their rights, safety, and protection; and future support and promotion of media freedom in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) region.