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Ukrainian Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko says the recently sanctioned Ukrainian TV channels owned by MP Taras Kozak, who is believed to be an ally of Vladimir Putin's crony Viktor Medvedchuk, were indirectly financed from Russia.

Speaking in an interview for the Ukrainian media outlet LB.ua, Tkachenko said he had seen the documents while working with the parliament's ad hoc commission on those TV channels.

"I was interested in the very fact of their acquisition since it is a long and controversial story. I have every reason to speak about indirect financing from Russia at least at the stage when the TV channels were acquired," he said.

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Tkachenko added it had taken more than two months to discuss what to do with the "Kremlin's propaganda machine," and there had to be the political will to address it.

Read alsoPresident's Office hints at harsh decisions to be taken at NSDC meeting Feb 19The minister also stressed Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) had imposed the sanctions based on law enforcement officers' conclusions.

"They are not directly disclosed as they are part of the investigation. But the fact that NSDC members have access to this information, referring to what they say and what the president says, we may conclude there is enough such evidence," he said.

Sanctions against pro-Russian TV channels: What is known

  • On February 2, Zelensky enacted a National Security and Defense Council decision of February 2, 2021, to impose sanctions on Member of Parliament Taras Kozak and a number of TV channels Kozak owns, such as 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK.
  • The broadcasting of these TV channels in the digital multiplex and cable networks was suspended in the early hours of February 3. At the same time, these TV channels continue YouTube broadcasts.
  • On February 4, two unnamed individuals filed lawsuits with the Supreme Court of Ukraine contesting the presidential decree enacting the sanctions against the TV channels.
  • On February 10, the Supreme Court ruled not to open proceedings on a claim seeking the cancellation of the sanctions against the pro-Russia TV channels.