Ukrainian media crackdown continues
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) effectively banned the Nash TV channel on Friday after a closed-door meeting chaired by President Volodymyr Zelensky. It becomes the fourth network critical of the government to be taken off air in the past year.
Viewers have since reported being unable to view the channel on cable.
The move came days after an online petition launched on the website of Zelensky’s office argued that the channel owned by Evgeniy Murayev, the founder of the NASHI (‘Ours’) party and former MP, had been inciting hatred against Ukrainians and broadcasting so-called pro-Russian “propaganda.”
The petition accused Murayev of “repeatedly denying on air the fact of Russian aggression” and inviting officials from the country’s breakaway eastern regions to speak on Nash TV.
Murayev has condemned the attack on the channel. “This means that we’ll be [broadcasting] online for now, but Monday we’re starting indefinite protests,” the politician told supporters at a rally in Kharkiv on Friday. He called the sanctions against the channel Zelensky’s “last mistake.”
Last year, Ukrainian authorities banned TV outlets 112, ZiK, and NewsOne. The media linked the three concerns to Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Opposition Platform – For Life party (OPZZh) and an MP. Medvedchuk is currently under house arrest, facing charges of state treason.