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Survey Suggests Ukrainian Media Under Increasing Pressure

KYIV -- Ukrainians increasingly think that pressure on the media has intensified since Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in January, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

An opinion survey conducted by the NGO Rating Group in September suggests that the number of Ukrainians who think pressure on the press is increasing has reached 41 percent, compared with 18 percent in April.

Of some 2,000 respondents, 35 percent did not think that the Ukrainian media are under pressure. About 24 percent of the respondents said they were uncertain.

Rating Group Director Oleksiy Antypovych told RFE/RL that the encroachment on press freedom is perceived in all of Ukraine's regions and among all demographic groups.

"Middle-aged respondents (30-39 years) and people with a higher level of education are feeling the pressure over freedom of speech the most, this being the most active part of the Ukrainian population," Antypovych said.

Yanukovych has repeatedly pledged to do all he can to prevent government pressure on the media.

In September, U.S. and EU officials urged the Ukrainian government to protect press freedom. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) representative on media freedom is due visit Kyiv next week to collect information on the problems independent media outlets currently face.