A draft resolution is being developed in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, to suspend access to government bodies for the journalists employed by a number of pro-Russian TV channels that were effectively sanctioned in early February.
"Following the ban on the aggressor state's media and social networks, the Kremlin over the past two years has massively intensified other channels of its information influence ... The will to hold teleconferences with the main propaganda mouthpiece Rossiya 1, Russian narratives in broadcasts, desecration of Ukrainian military, yes indeed, frankly, anti-Ukrainian rhetoric, once again underline who the recently sanctioned media work for," MP Iryna Friz wrote on Facebook.
Read alsoMore TV channels could be sanctioned, NSDC saysTo protect the national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity, MP said "we are initiating a draft resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on suspending the accreditation with the state authorities of journalists and technical crews who are part of the media sanctioned by Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 43/2021."
Sanctions on pro-Russian media outlets
President Volodymyr Zelensky on February 2 enacted a package of sanctions put forward by the National Security and Defense Council, effectively blocking a number of media assets, including 112 Ukraine, ZIK, and NewsOne TV channels that had been multiple times accused of preaching pro-Russian rhetoric, formally owned by Taras Kozak – an MP and ally of Vladimir Putin's crony Viktor Medvedchuk.
Read alsoMedia freedom gives no right to spread "malicious propaganda" – U.S. envoy to OSCECommenting on own move, President Zelensky said he strongly supports freedom of speech, but not "propaganda financed by the aggressor country."
SBU security service chief Ivan Bakanov said, "There is a big difference between freedom of speech and outright anti-Ukrainian rhetoric. Freedom of speech ends where signs appear of encroachment on territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine."
U.S. diplomats in Ukraine have supported the move and called for joint efforts "to prevent disinformation from being deployed as a weapon in an information war against sovereign states."
On February 4, two unnamed individuals have filed lawsuits with the Supreme Court of Ukraine contesting the Presidential Decree enacting a package of sanctions imposed on a number of TV channels.