The closure of three opposition 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky caused a huge resonance all over the world
19:21, 10 February 2021
The closure of three opposition TV channels (112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK) by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky caused a huge resonance all over the world and such broadsheets as Reuters, Associated Press, Washington Post and others wrote about it. Thousands of largest mass media negatively perceived this decision and stated that such a step from the head of the state is definitely an attack on the freedom of speech in the country.
Thus, Reuters reported that “the presidential law published lately on Tuesday evening (February 2) states that special economic and other restrictive measures would be applied toward Taras Kozak, MP from the Opposition Party – For Life and eight mass media and TV companies. The motives for such a decision were not mentioned in the order’.
Popular Spanish mass media – Europa Press stated that the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) also condemned the decision of Zelensky that was characterized by ‘an extra-judicial and politically motivated ban and a blatant attack on press freedom. The federation urged the Ukrainian authorities ‘to urgently reverse it’ and ‘respect freedom of information and speech’. IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger added that closure is spontaneous ‘is unacceptable in a democracy’. He also stated that it puts at risk the job of hundreds of media workers that have nothing to do with their media owners’ political affiliations.
American Barron’s released by Dow Jones & Company wrote a material citing French AFP that states that ‘Former comedian Zelensky came to power in 2019 on promises to end the war in the east of Ukraine. But his failure to swiftly fulfil that commitment among others has seen his and his ruling party's approval ratings plummet in recent months.’ The media ties the closure of three TV channels with political repressions against undesirable media.
International French Radio in its material dedicated to the closure of Ukrainian TV channels noted the next: “the popularity of the president stays at the record low level and if soon new parliamentary elections take place, the opposition party will get the first place. Zelensky used the oligarch chain to become the head of the state but now, he, in his turn, tries to protect himself from the counter force of these propaganda networks’.
French Wikipedia, referring to the mentioned material, added the article about Zelensky: “This step (closure of TV channels) was taken on the order of the administration of new U.S. President Joe Biden amid growing intensions to vote for pro-Russian candidates”.
The information about closure of Ukrainian TV channels was published by Italian state AHCA agency in English and Italian. Leading Spanish newspaper – La Vanguardia published a material of EFE that states the next:
“Medvedchuk stated as a response to the sanctions that Zelensky wants to clear the information field and stop the reduction of popularity and accused the president in the unwillingness to respond to unsolved problems such as conflict in the east of Ukraine with pro-Russian rebels, growth of prices for gas, absence of vaccines against Covid-19 and restriction of the Russian language. Zelensky came to power in 2019 after the victory at the elections gaining over 73% and his party, Servant of the People, surpassed 43% at the parliamentary elections, being the first force. Currently, according to Kiev International Institute of Sociology held on last Tuesday, Zelensky is trusted by 35.6% and the ruling party went down on the second place (11.9%) after Medvedchuk’s force (15.7%)”. This information was also published by El Diario and regional media of Andalusia and Galicia.
Financial Times published an article that called the decision of Zelensky controversial: measures assumed against TV channels are the last out of the number controversial steps that, according to the administration of Zelensky’ aim for counteraction inner and external threats to the national security.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty stated: “The European Union has questioned a move by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to sanction three television stations nominally owned by a member of a pro-Russian faction. In a written statement on February 3, the spokesperson of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, said that "while Ukraine's efforts to protect its territorial integrity and national security, as well as to defend itself from information manipulation are legitimate, in particular given the scale of disinformation campaigns affecting Ukraine including from abroad, this should not come at the expense of freedom of media and must be done in full respect of fundamental rights and freedoms and following international standards." The statement added that "any measures taken should be proportional to the aim" and that Brussels would be in touch with Ukrainian authorities to receive more information on the issue.
Next you can see a little list of mass media that published critical mass media about closure by Zelensky of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZiK TV channels: