Pro-Russian TV channels in Ukraine are means of mass destruction – Danilov

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The activities of pro-Russian TV channels in Ukraine have nothing to do with freedom of speech, and they serve as “means of mass destruction,” spreading the narratives of the aggressor country, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov has said in an interview with Ukrinform.

“There really has to be a line [between freedom of speech and national security], but there has to be a kind of arbiter here. We have to realize that the activities of some TV channels have nothing to do with freedom of speech. They have other orders, they work not as media outlets, but as means of mass destruction, voicing the narratives of the aggressor country and disseminating the information they get from the Russian Federation,” Danilov said, adding that this is absolutely unacceptable for Ukraine.

According to him, Ukraine will protect itself from any attempts to influence the state from outside. “We have to realize that today there is not only a hot war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which was launched by the Russian Federation, but also an information war, which is no less dangerous for any country. The spread of Russian narratives around the world is another challenge to many countries,” Danilov said.

He stressed that Russia is directly related to the escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine, thus reacting to the steps taken by the Ukrainian authorities. “The aggravation of the situation in eastern Ukraine is a direct confirmation that the Russian Federation is directly related to these events, that it leads and sends its troops to the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Danilov added.

He said that the Ukrainian army was ready to resist the aggressor country at any point. “As for their plans to counter our active actions, we’ll see. We are developing different scenarios, and we will have a decent response to any Russian actions, and not only the response of the president, the NSDC, but also the response of the entire Ukrainian people,” Danilov said.

He added that the authorities were ready for court lawsuits against the decision to shut down the 112, NewsOne and ZIK channels. “We are ready for any development,” he said.

He recalled that these TV channels had stopped broadcasting not as media outlets, but as commercial entities owned by a person suspected of terrorism financing.

On February 2, President Volodymyr Zelensky enacted the National Security and Defense Council decision to impose sanctions against TV channels NewsOne, ZIK and 112 Ukraine, as well as their owner, Taras Kozak, an MP from the Opposition Platform – For Life party. The sanctions include the revocation of the licenses of these pro-Russian TV channels.

On February 19, the NSDC imposed sanctions on 19 legal entities and eight individuals. The list includes Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife, Oksana Marchenko. Danilov said the sanctions against the couple had been imposed on charges of terrorism financing.

© 2021 Ukrinform News

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