Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Unknown people in masks since the evening of Sunday blockaded the building of the Ukrainian TV channel “NewsOne” in Kiev. They declared that they are dissatisfied with the information policy of the media and demand an apology from the non-factional deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Evgeny Murayev, the owner of the channel. Earlier he called the events of “Euromaidan” a coup d’etat, and such a definition categorically not to the liking of Ukrainian nationalists. They, like the present authorities of the country, are sure that this entire situation must be called only the “revolution of dignity”.
As the executive producer of NewsOne Vasily Golovanov said, journalists continue to perform their work, but do it in the conditions of psychological pressure.
“Because it’s not just people with banners who hold a meeting and stand for the implementation of their demands. These are people in balaclavas who burn barrels, stretch out barbed wire, and install sandbags,” he told “RIA Novosti”. The representative of the TV channel reported that employees of media submitted a statement to the police the day prior, however there wasn’t a reaction.
UPDATE – 04/12/2017: The militants who blocked the central entrance of the Kiev business center in which the NewsOne TV channel rents an office begun to remove the sandbags that barricaded the entrance. This is reported on the official site of the TV channel.
“We treated the request of the minister Avakov and chief of the National Council (on television and broadcasting) – that it is necessary to reformat the action a bit so that people can move in and out of the building – with understanding,” said one of the radicals.
However, the militants will “create a checkpoint and check documents”, and also won’t allow people with a St. George’s Ribbon or Russian journalists on to the territory of the TV channel. Murayev stated that the head of the neo-Nazi “Brotherhood” organisation Dmitry Korchinsky is involved in blockading the TV channel.
It should be noted that even French TV, or more precisely “Euronews”, reported about this blockade, predictably siding with the blockaders, who are fighting against “Russian aggression”.
Evgeny Murayev in turn stated that will he appeal to European Commissioners, the US State Department, and in “other instances, by whose hands created all the events in the country”.
“And we will try to achieve the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine, maintained on our taxes, at least trying to do their work,” he wrote on his page on Facebook. According to the parliamentarian, what is going on near the building of the TV channel “shows the freedom of speech and democracy” in Ukraine best of all.
The head of the Ukrainian National Union of journalists Sergey Tomilenko regarded the situation as putting pressure on the media and threatening journalists.
Meanwhile, in this respect the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko spoke in two ways. On the one hand, he stated that blockading the TV channel is inadmissible, and on the other hand, he urged to stop even “attempts to justify the actions of the aggressor country against Ukraine, flirting with Russian propaganda, including in regards to such matters as assessing the Revolution of Dignity”.
“The national council concerning television and radio broadcasting must more effectively implement the regulation of the media space,” wrote Poroshenko on Facebook.
Comment of Vladimir Kornilov
“We understand very well that it’s not a coincidence that all of these ‘attacks’ on the NewsOne TV channel arrived at the same time as the protest actions of Saakashvili – the ‘people’s impeachment‘. The authorities decided to fight against channels that are objectionable to it using the hands of militants who are under the control of the law enforcement structures of this government. It is clear that this isn’t a casual coincidence.
NewsOne plays a significant role in Saakashvili’s protest actions of. In fact, it is the only channel that live streams from these meetings. That’s why this channel became a bone in the throat of Poroshenko and his team. Take note: Poroshenko acts in the same way Yanukovych acted in relation to oppositional channels, although Yanukovych did raise his hand against ‘Channel 5’, which belonged to Poroshenko.
Of course, this action is paid for, like all actions in Ukraine. And those people who take to the streets with Saakashvili, don’t do it disinterestedly. And of course, those who come out to the street against Saakashvili also earn money from it. Now all combat units and battalions of the country live off various paid actions and raider captures – all of this has its own tax and tariffs, how much blockading a certain establishment will cost, smashes windows, beating someone up. Various Ukrainian militants are ready to serve both sides for money”.
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