KIEV, May 16. /TASS/. Ukraine’s ban on the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks shows that Kiev has abandoned the democratic path for good, leader of the Ukrainian Choice social movement, Viktor Medvedchuk, said today.
"Banning VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, the two largest social networks and perhaps one of the last remaining platforms to criticize, state one's position, discuss things and express one's opinions, shows that Ukraine has turned away from the path of democracy to follow North Korea’s policy," the politician said.
According to Medvedchuk, such measures are not aimed at protecting national security, but to restrict the rights of the Ukrainian people, such as the right to free speech, in order to "shield the authorities from public criticism and disapproval."
Medvedchuk emphasized that the Ukrainian bans on Russian-language books and "unwelcome" mass media outlets, blacklisting celebrities and the sharp reduction in the number of Russian songs on Ukrainian radio stations show that the Ukrainians are unable to freely access information and express their opinion.
Earlier this day, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko enforced the decision of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, as well as the Mail.Ru Group and Yandex companies and their services. As the Ukrainian presidential press service reported, internet-providers are prohibited from providing access to Mail.ru, VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki.