Hacked Pluralism: How Ukrainian TV Channels Were Used to Spread Russian Propaganda Messages


Vitalii Rybak, analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine, analysed how Ukrainian TV channels were used to spread Russian propaganda messages.

The recently-blocked TV channels linked to Viktor Medvedchuk claim to be in opposition to the government. Under this guise, they have been spreading Russian propaganda narratives in Ukraine.

On February 2, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree which enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to impose sanctions on Taras Kozak, the formal owner of TV channels 112 UkraineNewsOne, and ZIK (Novyny media group). However, the de-facto beneficiary of these channels has for several years been Viktor Medvedchuk, one of the leaders of the pro-Russian party, Opposition Platform — For Life.

Sanctions against Kozak were introduced at this particular point time because of findings by Ukrainian intelligence services that 112 UkraineNewsOne, and ZIK had received financing from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, nv.ua writes. Dzerkalo Tyzhnia newspaper writes that the money used to fund the channels came from selling coal from occupied Donbas.

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