Planned Ukrainian-Russian state TV collaboration sparks interrogations and attempted treason allegations in Ukraine
Yury Lutsenko, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, has announced that participants in a planned teleconference between Russia’s Rossiya 1 and Ukraine’s NewsOne will be subject to interrogation; prosecutors have decided to investigate the project as a case of attempted treason against Ukraine. Lutsenko’s announcement also indicated that Ukrainian prosecutors plan to freeze NewsOne’s assets.
The news outlet Unian reported that NewsOne is part of a conglomerate owned by Taras Kozak. Vladimir Putin is rumored to be the godfather of close Kozak ally Viktor Medvedchuk’s daughter.
The teleconference, which was scheduled for July 12 and titled “We Have to Talk,” was announced on July 7 by Russian state TV pundit Dmitry Kiselyov. A number of Ukrainian politicians accused the media personalities involved of political provocation, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the program was “a cheap but dangerous pre-election PR move designed to divide […] Ukrainians into two camps once again.” He offered to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the state of Crimea and the Donbass region instead. Zelenskyy added that responding too harshly to NewsOne could play into the aims of Russian state television.