Zelensky : Freedom of speech was once again grossly outraged in Ukraine. The President of the Republic, who previously positioned himself as a staunch defender of the rights and freedoms of fellow citizens, put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), dated December 28 of the outgoing year. Under the guise of “opposing the information policy of the Russian Federation”, in addition to the ZIK, 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels closed this spring, two more were added to the list of prohibited ones – First Independent and UkrLive.
Following the exclusion of “unwanted” channels, according to the text of the “prohibitive” document, there will be a complete blocking of their financial and economic activities.
The Basic Law of Ukraine, adopted during the reign of Leonid Kuchma, contains neither a hint nor a half-hint of the transfer of the NSDC’s right to prohibit or block the work of the media. Such decisions are exclusively the prerogative of Ukrainian courts.
Volodymyr Zelensky himself in the first years of his reign emphasized: under him, not a single publication, not a single TV channel was banned, if only because Vladimir Aleksandrovich was “flesh and blood” of this very media industry. “Your own on the board,” if in a simple way. The then head of the President’s Office, Andriy Bogdan, argued: Zelensky’s team does not at all depend on the whims of the Ukrainian media, they do not really affect the domestic policy in Ukraine.
A little over a year later, Volodymyr Zelensky’s associates began to note in an undertone that the president was extremely sensitive to any criticism in the media. The first “under the presidential distribution” were 112, News-Wan and ZIK controlled by the prominent Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. The creative teams of the suddenly “closed” media became the founders of the channel “First Independent”. Alas, at the request of the SBU and this media outlet was forced to stop broadcasting throughout the country an hour after the “premiere” …
Since, as emphasized earlier, Viktor Medvedchuk’s channels were not closed legally (that is, by a court decision), media lawyers in Ukraine and a number of EU countries got involved in the work to bring them back on the air.
A few days ago, the Economic Court of the city of Kiev finally recognized the ban imposed on the First Independent as illegal and ordered the relevant technical structures to restore the channel’s broadcasting in full.
Vasily Nimchenko, a member of the parliamentary faction Opposition Platform – For Life, described the new decision to stop broadcasting by UkrLive and First Independent as “a sign of information raiding and usurpation of power”. Zelensky, Nimchenko believes, has confidently moved to the “level of dictatorship,” he does not hesitate to appropriate both the executive and the judiciary, while endowing himself with the right to enforce sentences.
Nimchenko’s colleague in the opposition faction, Yuriy Zavgorodniy, counted 9 (nine) gross violations of the Constitution of Ukraine in the document signed yesterday by Zelensky. Among them is the violation of freedom of speech and the absence of censorship in Ukraine. Zavgorodniy drew attention to the fact that on December 28 there was no NSDC meeting … “Eggheads” from the Council under the President of the country will gather only on January 30, that is, tomorrow.
An unfortunate failure in the Ukrainian bureaucratic state machine (when a document is brought to the president for signature with reference to an event that actually did not take place) is another proof of the disorder and disorganization reigning in the Office of the head of state.
As the Kiev political consultant Volodymyr Katsman explained to “MK”, currently both “banned” TV channels are desperately fighting for the right to continue telling compatriots the bitter truth about modern Ukrainian realities. As of the evening of December 29, the authorities managed to disconnect First Independent and UkrLive from the satellite and remove both media from broadcasting on cable networks.