Ukraine has revoked the license of three TV stations, which were the property on paper of a member of parliament from the pro-Russian “Platform for Life” faction, but are suspected of belonging to businessman Viktor Medvedciuk, one of the country’s richest and most influential businesses. Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the decree on February 2 on the recommendation of national security advisers.
The three TV stations, Canal 112, NewsOne and ZIK immediately stopped broadcasting but are still broadcasting online. Medvedseuk, who claims not to be the owner of the targeted stations, was actually sanctioned in March 2014 for undermining democracy in Ukraine, after the dismissal of the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Russian President Vladimir Putin is the godfather of Medvedky’s daughter.
For Sergey Lishchenko, a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, the ban on television is a “strong signal” given to Russia, which it allegedly used in its propaganda campaign. The same accusation was made by Mikhail Podolak, an advisor to the president, who claimed in interviews with the local press that the leaflets “are often used by foreign propagandists in Ukraine”.
On February 1, Alexander Dubinsky was arrested by the Presidential Party, subject to US sanctions for allegedly trying to influence the 2020 presidential elections. In September 2020, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Ukrainian parliamentarian Andrei Dirkach for the same reason. Then, in January, it extended the sanctions to seven individuals and four organizations linked to Gendarmerie.
The new US administration is a declared supporter of Ukraine, and recently, the new Secretary of State Blinkin had his first conversation with his counterpart in Kiev.