The decision of the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine to revoke the licenses of 112 Ukraine and ZIK TV channels buried the last hopes of the media sphere that freedom of speech will still live in Ukraine. The National TV Council took on the role of a puppet of the president, became an instrument of political struggle and completely discredited itself as an independent regulatory body for television and radio broadcasting. Earlier, the National TV Council made the same illegal and cynical decision to revoke the license of NewsOne. This was stated by the owner of 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne TV channels Taras Kozak. He noted that this step of the National TV Council is another stage in the destruction of media inconvenient for the government, carried out on the orders of President Zelensky.
"According to Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine, everyone is guaranteed the right to freedom of thought and speech, and to the free expression of his or her views and beliefs and dissemination of information. The authorities have not yet released SBU materials that allegedly justify President Zelensky's illegal decision to impose sanctions on me personally and on 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and Newsone. Moreover, according to Article 41 of the Constitution of Ukraine, confiscation of property may be applied only pursuant to a court decision. 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne TV channels are a private property, and by presidential decree and the decision of the National Security and Defense Council this property was in fact confiscated. This fact, as well as numerous other violations and abuses, finally proved President Zelensky's personal interest in stopping of the broadcasting of media that are inconvenient for him personally," Taras Kozak said.
112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne TV channels have long been facing direct and politically motivated pressure. Such includes numerous inspections, unjustified fines, shelling of 112 Ukraine TV channel, blocking of the TV channels by radical organizations, deprivation of 112 Ukraine TV channel of a digital license due to direct pressure on judges and the National TV Council by the previous head of the President's Office. In addition, the President's Office was preparing an operation to raid 112 Ukraine TV channel. On the direct instructions of Volodymyr Zelensky, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) demanded the arrest of the channel's corporate rights and its transfer to the ARMA department. This did not happen only because the court found such a request of the SBU unfounded and illegal.
"Zelensky has to openly admit that the purpose of systematic actions aimed at attacking opposition channels is not to protect the interests of Ukraine, but only to stop the spread of information that undermines his rating. The deprivation of the three main information channels of licenses and the opportunity to tell the truth to the population across the country is in fact a warning and a threat to other media outlets that criticize the activities of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"The President is enraged because our TV channels show the real Ukraine in which we live: with exorbitant bills, large-scale corruption, external governance. This is not to the liking of Zelensky and his Western curators, ambassadors of the G7 countries, who treat the president of Ukraine like an errand boy, giving him tasks. But in civil society, freedom of speech, including in the media, should not be ruled by the whim of one person. I believe that justice will prevail, and Volodymyr Zelensky will be held accountable for his actions," Taras Kozak said.
Earlier, on February 2, 2021, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the introduction of personal sanctions against the MP from the Opposition Platform - For Life Taras Kozak. In particular, it is about the cancellation of broadcasting licenses of the TV channels belonging to him (112 Ukraine, NewsOne, ZIK). According to the decree, which came into force from the moment of signing, sanctions were applied to TV channels for five years.
After blocking the broadcast of TV channels, it is possible to watch the broadcasts on YouTube.