Ukrainian authorities should “immediately” cancel an order banning a prominent independent Russian television station from broadcasting in the country, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says.
The National Radio and TV Council (NRTC) on January 12 ordered Ukrainian broadcasters to stop airing reports by Dozhd (Rain) within about a month, the Moscow-based channel said.
“This ham-handed censorship will deprive Russian-speaking Ukrainian viewers of a counterpoint to Russian state-controlled media,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said in January 13 statement.
Dozhd cited an official from the channel’s Ukrainian partner, Volya, as saying the reason for the ban was that Dozhd had violated a prohibition on advertising.
The Interfax news agency, however, cited a council member as saying Dozhd had failed to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity when it aired an image showing the boundary with Crimea as the state border, suggesting that Crimea is part of Russia.
Russia seized control of Crimea in 2014, although Kyiv considers the Black Sea peninsula still part of Ukraine. Only a handful of countries in the world recognize Crimea as part of Russia.