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Putin castigates Ukraine’s shutdown of TV channels as double standards

In early February, Vladimir Zelensky issued a decree to take three opposition TV channels off air, which prompted a campaign to collect signatures for his impeachment in the Verkhovna Rada
Russian President Vladimir Putin Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

NOVO-OGARYOVO, February 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s move to ban three TV channels is based on double standards related to freedom of expression, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a videoconference with the leaders of parliamentary factions on Wednesday.

"As for freedom of expression, everything is clear to us. The so-called double standards have become perfectly clear recently, and there is no doubt about how our so-called opponents are working against us," the head of state pointed out.

In this regard, Putin mentioned Ukraine. "In Ukraine, they just shut down three leading TV channels. Just like that, with the stroke of a pen. And everyone is silent. Moreover, some are approvingly patting them on the shoulder," Putin noted.

"How can one comment on it? There is nothing to say. It’s nothing but attempts to use some tools to achieve geopolitical goals," the Russian leader stressed. He emphasized that the same also went for Latvia. "They targeted 16 of our media outlets in one attack and there is silence… Where are Western truth seekers, why aren’t they commenting on what is going on in Europe in terms of freedom of expression? There are no comments. As though everything is fine because it is allegedly a fight against propaganda while what they themselves are doing isn’t propaganda," Putin said. "Well then, what is it? It’s leveraging tools to achieve their geopolitical goals, particularly in relation to our country," he added.

According to Putin, Russia "needs to keep it all in mind." "There is nothing unusual in that. We have been watching it for quite a while and the recent developments prove that we are right in our assessments," the Russian president said.