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Kiev keeps Ukrainian media ‘on leash’ — German newspaper

September 22, 2014, 20:26 UTC+3 BERLIN
Official Kiev is “not always accurate” in reporting information, Germany's daily Die Welt says in an article
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© EPA/MARIUS BECKER

BERLIN, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The authorities in Ukraine are keeping the national media “on a leash”, Germany’s daily Die Welt (The World) said in an article on Monday.

Official Kiev is “not always accurate” in reporting information, the newspaper said.

“In early September, the pro-government Euromaidanpress website posted that Russia had annexed (Ukraine’s eastern city of) Luhansk and handed out Russian money and Russian passports there,” it said, adding that the web portal “quoted a deputy of the German Bundestag lower house of parliament, who was allegedly on the scene”.

However, when interviewed by the daily, the deputy said that he had never been to Luhansk. Therefore, the newspaper believes that Ukraine’s media often reports announcements made by the army loyal to Kiev, without even checking them.

“A large number of military news stories come from Dmitry Tymchuk, the coordinator of the Information Resistance group on social media, a Ukrainian former military officer, who is also often cited by Western media,” the paper said. Though, it is unclear though where he obtains his data. Die Welt suspect that Tymchuk is used by Kiev to promote information in public.

The freedom of press in Ukraine is also in question. “Those who report on events in eastern Ukraine more critically arouse suspicion,” the article said about the freedom of the press in the country.

In this context, the newspaper recalled an incident in July when a number of masked men armed with baseball bats broke into the office of a Kiev-based digital newspaper Vesti. “Two weeks ago, Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) ransacked the newspaper’s office, confiscated the computers and froze the publisher’s assets,” Die Welt added.

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