Journalists of the newly established Pershiy Nezalezhniy TV channel addressed an open letter to international organizations in the field of protection of journalists' rights and democratic freedoms, representatives of the highest legislative bodies and diplomatic missions in Ukraine.
"As the journalists of three Ukrainian TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK, illegally closed by President Volodymyr Zelensky, we have united and established a new TV channel, which will allow the citizens of our country to know the truth about what is happening in Ukraine.
We have been working in accordance with international journalistic standards for many years. However, with the change of power in Ukraine, independent media were put under huge pressure. The authorities did not want us to tell the truth - about tariffs, vaccines, and corruption. The government decided that the only truth was a lie about their success. Therefore, the authorities closed the TV channels instead of putting the corrupt officials in jail and fulfilling election promises," the text reads.
"However, no one can intimidate the journalists. We have joined forces and established a new TV channel – Pershiy Nezalezhniy (First Independent). The truth returns on air again. Truth about endemic corruption, abuse of authority, unimpeded far-right violence and attacks on minorities. The truth from independent journalists and presenters who are not afraid of threats, bans and sanctions, and will not accept censorship in any form.
All we are asking for - is to be left alone by the authorities, which would allow us to work at liberty and convey comprehensive information to the viewer. Only the viewer should decide on the channel to watch and information to trust. It is not up to the president or the government, but the viewer solely.
Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of modern democracy. Ukrainian authorities have turned this notion into an empty declaration. Therefore, we, the journalists, who know first-hand how the officials can trample human rights and freedoms, are asking you to protect the freedom of speech in Ukraine, and make sure the Ukrainian authorities do not close yet another media outlet. This is far beyond the pale for the European Union, and so it should be in Ukraine.
We will continue to tell the truth about the persisting systemic corruption, about the abuses of power, about the rampant extreme right-wing radicalism and the oppression of national minorities," the journalists of the Pershiy Nezalezhniy stressed.
Soon, the viewers will be able to watch the channel on TV screens, and not only on YouTube. Webcast of the TV channel is available on the website pnk.tv.
The new TV channel will broadcast on ASTRA-4A satellite, 5°E. It can also be found on the largest cable networks of the service providers Volia, Triolan and other operators. The faces of Pershiy Nezalezhniy will be all the figures that are iconic and familiar to the viewer of the TV channels closed by Zelensky. The list includes Diana Panchenko, Pavlo Kuzheev, Vyacheslav Pikhovshek, Vasyl Apasov, Yuriy Bibik, Andriy Lashch, Rostyslav Sukhachov and others.