Kremlin Plans to File Complaint with OSCE Over Kiev’s Ban of Liberal Russian TV Channel
Ukrainian authorities have banned the liberal Russian channel TV Rain, one of the few voices of opposition left in Russia’s media. According to Ukraine’s media regulator, the channel repeatedly broadcast maps that are in violation of Ukrainian law because Crimea was drawn as part of Russia.
In an ironic twist of fate for the liberal channel which often clashes with the Kremlin over its programming, Russian government officials are defending TV Rain. Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson even announced that Russia will file a complaint with the OSCE.
Broadcasting a map that shows Crimea as Ukrainian territory could be considered an “incitement to separatism” under Russian law which carries a prison sentence of up to five years. “It seems that the Ukrainian authorities have decided [to close the channel] on a technicality,” said TV Rain’s editor-in-chief Roman Badanin to the Moscow Times. “Our audience has no doubts on the objectivity of our coverage on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.”
Ukraine’s National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting gave television providers one month to replace TV Rain with other programming.
Earlier in 2016, Ukrainian authorities took issue with the channel running advertisements from Russian companies and TV Rain agreed to open a new Ukrainian version of the channel without Russian advertisements; however this Ukrainian alternative of Russian TV Rain has yet to be approved by the governing media body in Ukraine.