The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council’s decision to impose sanctions against the 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK television channels and their owner, Taras Kozak, who is believed to be an ally of Viktor Medvedchuk, is based on evidence that they are being funded by the aggressor state, Deputy Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Ihor Zhovkva has said in a video seen by ukrinform.net.
“Yesterday, the National Security and Defense Council made a consolidated decision to impose sanctions on three TV channels and their owner. It is obvious that the reason behind this was indisputable evidence and proof that these TV channels have long been financed by the aggressor state. Accordingly, the state [Ukraine] could not but take action in conditions when the aggression is intensifying, when Crimea remains occupied, when Ukrainian soldiers continue to die in the occupied Donbas,” he said.
According to Zhovkva, the National Security and Defense Council, having received from Ukraine’s SBU Security Service “obvious evidence” of the said TV channels being financed from Russia, had made a respective decision on sanctions.
At the same time, he stressed that the NSDC decision did not concern the violation of freedom of speech.
“You can take the Ukrainian media space and see how many independent journalistic investigations are conducted every day and every week against the president, against the authorities in general. They will obviously continue, because it is the freedom and independence of the media. But we should not confuse […] news with fakes and propaganda – these are completely different things,” Zhovkva said.
On February 2, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against television channels NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine, as well as their owner, Taras Kozak, an MP from the Opposition Platform – For Life party. The sanctions include, among other things, revoking the licenses of these pro-Russian TV channels. The broadcasting of NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine was blocked as of the morning of February 3.
Presidential spokesperson Iuliia Mendel said the NSDC decision had been adopted in accordance with Article 5 of the law of Ukraine “On Sanctions,” Verkhovna Rada resolution No. 2589-VIII of October 4, 2018 and proposals from the Security Service of Ukraine, had nothing to do with an attack on freedom of speech and had been made with a view to protecting national security.