Ukrainian TV channel for Russian-occupied Donbas to launch in February

Ukraine will launch a state-funded television channel designed for the territories occupied by Russian-backed militants in the Donbas on Feb. 15, the Culture Ministry announced on Jan. 3.

Elena Tribushnaya, the head of the news department of a state-owned TV channel that will start to broadcast in the Russian-occupied Donbas on Feb. 15, 2019 poses for a picture. Tribushnaya worked as the chief editor of the 24 Channel, the deputy chief editor at the Novoe Vremya news outlet, and an editor at the Korrespondent magazine.Photo by Culture Ministry of Ukraine

The channel will be created on the basis of UATV, another state-owned channel that airs for an international audience in five languages, including English, Russian, and Crimean Tatar. It will share the funding that Ukraine gives to UATV.

The new media will aim to provide unbiased information about modern Ukraine.

“The new channel should show the truth of what is happening in Ukraine to the people who live in the temporarily occupied territories and start a dialogue with them,” First Deputy Culture Minister Anatoliy Maksymchuk stated on Jan. 3.

That was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who first suggested establishing a channel that would serve as a tool to fight Russia’s propaganda, which the Kremlin started to use after it annexed Ukrainian Crimea and began a war in eastern Ukraine. Zelensky had voiced this idea even before he got elected in April.

The Culture Ministry stated that the new channel will start producing its own news programs from the very beginning and will also broadcast TV series and films made by Ukraine’s top media. The content will air in the Ukrainian and Russian languages.

A director of the media will be appointed after a tender takes place in January. Meanwhile, the channel’s deputy director Yulia Ostrovska will serve as an acting director.

Ukrainian journalist Elena Tribushnaya will head the news department. Tribushnaya worked as the chief editor of the 24 Channel, the deputy chief editor at the Novoe Vremya news outlet, and an editor at the Korrespondent magazine.

“The goal of the new TV channel is to bring back to the Ukrainian information and cultural space those of our citizens who have been deprived of the opportunity… to receive objective information about their country for six years, and whose attitude towards Ukraine is influenced mainly by Russian TV channels,” Tribushnaya said in the statement published by the ministry.

The ministry also said they developed several concepts for the new channel, but they will choose the fitting one after they hire a managing director.


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