Rada to probe Russian influence on TV, info warfare operations

10:40, 18 October 2019
Ukraine
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Jonas Sveningsson via flickr.com

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has set up an interim investigation commission to probe "compliance with the requirements of the law in the process of information television channels changing their owners and ensuring counteraction to the information influence of the Russian Federation."

The corresponding resolution notes that the Commission's goal is to prevent monopolization in the information and TV broadcasting market, to limit the influence of the Russian Federation on the information space, and to counter threats to national security in the information space.

Read alsoOwner of 112 Ukraine, NewsOne suspected of financing terrorism

Among the main tasks is conducting a comprehensive check of the circumstances of the acquisition, sources of payment and receipt of funds during the change of ownership at NewsOne, 112 Ukraine, and ZIK TV channels; a study to identify persons who directly or indirectly participated in the process of changing the owners of these channels, who are their ultimate beneficiaries, and who affect their editorial policy; verification of information on the systematic dissemination by certain Ukrainian television channels of narratives and messages that could threaten national security, defense and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

It is also planned to conduct an investigation into special info warfare operations carried out by TV channels aimed at undermining defense, demoralizing Ukrainian military, provoking extremism, feeding panic, aggravating and destabilizing the socio-political and socio-economic situation, inciting ethnic and religious conflicts in Ukraine and other manifestations of threats to information security of Ukraine.

The decision notes that if sufficient grounds are established, the issue of bringing the perpetrators to justice shall be initiated.

The Commission will operate for six months.

As UNIAN reported earlier, ZIK TV was acquired by Taras Kozak, who is considered an ally of Viktor Medvedchuk, Vladimir Putin's major political operative in Ukraine. Thus, Kozak's media assets now include three TV channels: 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK TV.

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