“Unprecedented” Freedom of Speech in Ukraine: Honduras and Algeria Will Soon Be Left Behind

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Elena Lukash

“DEATH to traitors of Ukraine!!!” are the words of the adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Kiva. The enemies he designated are journalists from the NEWS ONE TV channel. He designated and condemned them to death.

How simply and “democratically” the ministerial chatterer suggests to solve a problem of freedom of speech. To shut the mouth of the channel.

It is a natural result of the three year flight of the country into the abyss of obscurantism and xenophobia.

“Reporters without borders” defined the post-Maidan period as the worst period of freedom of speech in the history of Ukraine.

In three years we lost 10 points in the rating of freedom of speech. And this is not yet the limit.

Algeria and Honduras, which we concede places to currently, will remain behind us in this pursuit of dissidents and the discordant.

“We, patriots, must undertake a mission to EXTERMINATE the ENEMY inside the State!!!” said Kiva.

To exterminate, to kill, to burn.

It is the favourite recipes on the menu of radicals who don’t tolerate anyone who thinks in another way than they do.

“Patriotism means simply kill the infidels”.

Attempts to set the Inter TV channel on fire were also done with the participation of this rabid “patriot”.

And the most important thing. There is no reaction to the illegal appeals and threats from by the appropriate authorities.

The media community is silent, the grant-eaters are silent, who absolutely selfishly and always selectively fought for the right of journalists to tell the truth.

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The president was right: “In Ukraine there is an unprecedented level of freedom”.

Indeed: for all the years of independence such precedents didn’t happen. Nobody earlier dared to call to kill journalists and all the discordant so impudently and openly.

This is rock bottom.

A day after Elena Lukash wrote this post about Kiva’s death threats towards the journalists of NEWS ONE, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasily Gritsak suggested to develop changes in the legislation for the introduction of criminal liability for manifestations of “Russian propaganda” in the Ukrainian media. He stated this in his message published on the website of the SBU.

“During three years of Russian military aggression the SBU regularly attacks reconnaissance and sabotage and information subversive networks of the Russian Federation special services in the territory of Ukraine. But the enemy’s fifth column, which the enemy prepared, cherished, and fed up long before the beginning of the open attack against Ukraine, hasn’t yet been fully destroyed.

In its dirty work it tries to deftly manipulate with imperfection the Ukrainian legislation and the highest democratic value of our people – freedom of speech.

We understand that every day we should do even more for our victory. At the same time we realize that the SBU officials should act only in the limits of authorities and in a way, determined by the Constitution and Laws of Ukraine. Personally I, as the Head of the Service, will never break this principle.

True patriotism is not just talk about love for Ukraine. The adequate repulsion of enemy requires absolute joint actions and the integration of law force and force of public opinion as a weapon against Russian aggression in the information space.

For this we should, firstly, immediately design and approve changes to the legislation of Ukraine on the criminal responsibility. The SBU is ready to attach to this process.

Our goal is to give in the Criminal Code of Ukraine an adequate legal treatment to all forms and methods of hybrid war. In the context of aggression not only military manuals are written by blood, but also laws for traitors and the aggressor’s associates. This is a force of law.

Secondly, we should conclude an act of information unity of Ukrainian journalists in counteraction to the enemy.

Russian propaganda is a weapon, by means of which the enemy tries to destroy our faith in freedom of speech and democracy. The boycott of all representatives of the Russian Federation fifth column in the information space of Ukraine should become a response to this propaganda. They should become personas non grata in native information resources – only the ground of ‘Kisilev and Soloviov’ [Russian TV hosts – ed] should stay for followers of ‘Putin’s Russian world’.

This is a force of public opinion.

We call all patriots to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us and share responsibility for the future of the Ukrainian state.”

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