As Novye Izvestia has already reported, on February 2, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council on the application of sanctions against MP from the Opposition Platform - For Life party Taras Kozak and 8 companies that are the founders of the TV channels. 112 Ukraine”, “ZIK” and NewsOne. The broadcasting of these TV channels in the digital multiplex and cable networks was suspended on the night of February 3.
Zelenskiy wrote on his blog: “Ukraine strongly supports freedom of speech. Not propaganda funded by an aggressor country that undermines Ukraine on the way to European and Euro-Atlantic integration". He stressed that the struggle for independence is a struggle in an information war for truth and European values.
This decision is commented on by the Ukrainian political scientist Andriy Okara:
“This event gave rise to many political, legal and ethical consequences. We see the dilemma between freedom of speech and national security (more precisely, as those who made this decision understand it). A similar dilemma has recently been in the United States - around Trump and the scandals generated by the presidential election campaign. Since a certain time, these three channels have turned into hand tools that do not even try to hide their political engagement. Despite the fact that there are frankly few decent people on these channels. And many decent ones ended up in stop lists. (Personally, I was blacklisted immediately after V.V. Medvedchuk established control over them, but I have never been sad about this).
But, on the other hand, what if the owners of these channels SEE THE WORLD SO? Is this how they understand the priorities of their country's national interests? As far as I understand, there were no direct appeals prohibited by the Criminal Code. But is it forbidden to promote Medvedchuk's information agenda? (Even if it almost completely coincides with the Kremlin one.)
From a legal point of view, there were several legal mistakes. Apparently, Zelensky's decree will be declared unconstitutional in the Supreme Court, which will consider this case at 1 instance.
From a political point of view, a lot of joy and a savory news story for several weeks has been created for Russian propaganda.
And also - a situation has been created that can bury Zelensky's presidency. And hardly anyone will come out to protect him. Well, maybe the screenwriters and showrunners of Quarter-95.
Although, of course, in no warring country it is impossible to find TV channels that openly sympathize with the enemy and promote his agenda. But, on the other hand, did these channels promote exactly the pro-Russian and pro-Kremlin agenda? And, thirdly, is Ukraine a warring country?
In general, as in the recent American case, in this situation we are dealing with a new, complex, non-linear situation that cannot be dissected and evaluated from the point of view of the existing approaches. History is happening here and now - i.e. in answering these complex challenges, in solving the most difficult non-linear dilemmas.
Where is freedom of speech, and where is information weapon - this is one of the most complex issues of modern politics. About "Radio 1000 Hills" it seems clear. As for the softer versions, it is difficult to establish criteria.
I had the opportunity to watch a little on the Internet the nighttime broadcasts of these forbidden channels, as well as a number of others that came to their defense. When freedom of speech is oppressed, usually all journalists and public speakers, without exception, rise to the defense. And in this case - only those who were regulars of the closed channels.
In general, I do not have a universal answer to this question, there is no solution to this dilemma. At the same time, I understand and accept the positions of all opponents on this scandal.
Let me emphasize that in Russia, in the official discourse, calls are constantly heard to close Ekho Moskvy, Dozhd, and Novaya Gazeta.
And, by the way, have there been any protests on the Maidan against the closure of the channels? Someone came out with posters: Hands off 112, news-one and zik?"
Russian journalist Elena Rykovtseva perceived this event ambiguously:
“I generally think that Zelensky arranged all this, because the number of Ukraine on the Russian federal air has decreased. I missed you. I was homesick. But now - wow! - everything fell into place. There are not enough irons. It is already now that babies in Russian maternity hospitals will soon be called Ziks, News-Ones, and each will have a tag with the coveted number 112 on the handle.
I have ambivalent feelings. I always feel sorry for the journalists. But I, of course, never could understand why, after all, in a fairly free country, such as Ukraine, they are not able to shake off the amount of Medvedchuk's turbidity that they shoved into the net. Well, it's impossible.
Now they are complaining that how can it be, we called everyone, we are objective. Of course, they did, no one argues. And there are probably normal people there, on these channels. And normal guests. But all this was devalued by this really vile stream, completely stuffed with Moscow, I watch on our channels how they come here and grovel, or do not come, but grovel remotely, in front of the Kremlin, which snatched a piece of territory from their country, and I think really in Ukraine all this will also show, will they not be ashamed? I check - no, they are not shy. The same texts, the same characters who certainly create a "single information space". The only element of unity..."