Separatist government in eastern Ukraine bans dozens of TV channels
Authorities of the Luhansk People’s Republic, a self-proclaimed state in eastern Ukraine, will limit the transmission of 23 Ukrainian TV channels and of Russian independent TV channel Dozhd (TV Rain). The Luhansk People’s Republic council of ministers signed this provision on March 10.
The reason behind the move is described in the document as “securing the national interests of the Luhansk People’s Republic, considering the existence of information in some foreign media which can harm national security, propagate war, and bring about the transgression of law, including unlicensed television broadcasting on the Republic’s territory.”
The document also states that “service providers that broadcast television channels… must take measures to eliminate the channels listed here.”
The Luhansk People’s Republic is a self-proclaimed state in eastern Ukraine which borders the Russian Federation, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, and Ukraine. The Luhansk People’s Republic proclaimed independence from Ukraine on May 12, 2014.
Television broadcasting of most Ukrainian channels in Luhansk region was already banned in the spring of 2014, after the region’s broadcasting center fell under separatist control. Russian channels then took the place of Ukrainian channels in local broadcasting.
In late January 2015, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office filed charges against the broadcasting center for the transmission of Russian channels. According to Ukrainian officials, Russian channels regularly air information that “forms the ideological groundwork for spreading terrorism and extremism throughout the region.”
In other regions of Ukraine, it is forbidden to air Russian channels such as Channel One, RTR-Planeta, RenTV and TVC-international. Likewise, in 2014, the Russian-language edition of Euronews was banned from Ukrainian television due to the “propaganda” featured in some programs. In January, Ukrainian authorities decided to stop broadcasting the Ukrainian-language edition of Euronews as well.