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Ukrainian sanctions against opposition TV channels a ‘massacre,’ lawmaker says

"Five TV channels shut down in one year is a special characteristic for any authority," Viktor Medvedchuk noted

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. Ukrainian sanctions against the First Independent and Ukrlive TV channels are a crime, says Viktor Medvedchuk, Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life (OPFL) political party.

"Five TV channels shut down in one year is a special characteristic for any authority. Nobody will be able to beat this record. A broadcasting license can only be recalled through a watchdog organization and under a court order. This is a massacre. Yesterday’s TV channels have been illegally shut down due to criminal actions of the authorities," Medvedchuk said.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky enacted the decision of the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine to impose sanctions against three companies: Novosti, owned by OPFL lawmaker Taras Kozak (which includes the 112 Ukraine, News One, and Zik opposition TV channels); Time Media, which owns the First Independent TV Channel, and Teleprostir, which owns the Ukrlive TV channel. The latter two companies are owned by OPFL lawmaker Nestor Shufrich. The imposed sanctions will remain in effect for five years and effectively bar the channels from operating. Ukrainian carriers have already started taking these channels down.