Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has blocked three opposition TV channels he does not like, although no legal justification for such a step has been provided so far
The Ukrainian government has imposed sanctions against the 112 Ukrayina, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels. Similar measures were also taken against MPs of the opposition platform with which these media outlets are affiliated, in particular the co-chairman of the party, Viktor Medvedchuk.
Such repressive measures are unlikely to save Zelensky’s ratings, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, affiliated with US oligarch George Soros, said in a statement.
“The Ukrainian government’s decision to close three opposition TV channels has sparked a heated debate about the line between freedom of speech and the fight against fake news. Analysts fear that the legal basis for such a decision is shaky,” the report said.
The NGO drew attention to the fact that Zelensky stooped to repression amid how the Opposition Platform surpassed the presidential party in terms of popularity among voters. At the end of January, the figure stood at 20 per cent against 11 per cent.
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“The drop in ratings may have prompted Zelensky to change his passive tactics. But analysts warned that while such decisions may have boosted Zelensky’s popularity in the short term, they were fraught with risk,” the NGO stated.