Russia Lost 341 Journalists Over 20 Years

MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) – A total of 341 journalists were killed or reported missing in Russia over the 20 years since the Soviet Union’s demise, Russian media reported on Saturday.

The figure includes correspondents who died during wars and anti-terrorist operations as well as those who were murdered or lost their lives in “questionable circumstances” in peace time, and also those reported missing, Mir television reported.

The report, which used the Russian Union of Journalists’ statistics, did not specify whether all the deaths and disappearances were directly linked to the journalists’ professional activity.

Dagestan was the most dangerous region to report from, with 16 Russian journalists killed in the North Caucasus republic over the past 15 years, state television said.

Russia is the third most dangerous country in the world for reporters, after Algeria and Iraq, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent New York-based watchdog.

Sixty-seven journalists were killed across the world as a direct result of their professional activity in 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists said.

Russia featured on this list, as Kazbek Gekkiyev, 28, a presenter on state TV was killed in the North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria earlier this month, allegedly by Islamic militants.

Russia marks Journalist Memory Day on December 15. The date was picked to mark the death of a Russian TV crew at the hands of Serbian fighters in then-Yugoslavia on that day in 1991.

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