Comment by the Information and Press Department on the start of blocking multiple Russian media websites in Ukraine on the basis of repressive decisions of the Ukrainian authorities

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 14:34

We have stated more than once that Kiev is openly pursuing a policy of suppressing any dissent in the national media landscape and that Ukraine is rapidly descending into totalitarian rule.

On May 24, we published on the Foreign Ministry website our comment on the Ukrainian authorities updating the media sanctions list for three years by adding the Rossiya Segodnya and RIA Novosti Ukraine news agencies and blocking access to their sites. We unequivocally called this decision yet another act of political censorship contributing to the already miserable state of the press in Ukraine.

It is noteworthy that our assessments were shared by OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir. On May 25, he said in a press release that such discriminatory actions against the media are unacceptable and that it is necessary to observe fundamental OSCE commitments on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. A number of key human rights NGOs and journalist associations reacted in the same way.

However, it seems Kiev is not going to pay any attention to this. Moreover, Ukrainian internet providers have already started blocking Russian news websites on a large scale. This shows that the Ukrainian regime is so used to going unpunished that it simply ignores the reaction of international legal agencies, aided in the process by the inaction, embarrassed silence and sometimes tacit support of major Western states and relevant NGOs.

As such, we are calling on the OSCE and other relevant international organisations not to slacken their pressure on the Ukrainian authorities, with a view to curbing their unprecedented policy of reprisals against the media and suppression of free speech in Ukraine.

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