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Anti-govt activists take control of TV tower in Donetsk region

Published time: April 17, 2014 19:38
Supporters of the referendum on Ukraine's federalization are seen on barricades outside the building of the district department of internal affairs in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk Region. (RIA Novosti)

Supporters of the referendum on Ukraine's federalization are seen on barricades outside the building of the district department of internal affairs in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk Region. (RIA Novosti)

Anti-Maidan activists in south-eastern Ukraine have reportedly seized a TV tower broadcasting for the Donetsk region, cutting off some digital Ukrainian channels and replacing them with Russian ones.

According to Ukrainian media, several supporters of a federal Ukraine gained access to the territory of a radio-television center in the town of Slavyansk on Thursday afternoon.

The facility broadcasts to the towns of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Gorlovka and Makeyevka.
Several Ukrainian channels were then reportedly replaced with Russian ones: Rossiya-24, Rossiya-1 and LifeNews.

Slavyansk’s local TV channel, S-Plus, confirmed to RT that currently there is no digital broadcasting, while analog broadcasting is carrying on.

We got an official confirmation from Slavyansk Self-Defense that their people did seize the tower and have cut off digital broadcasting for now,” the channel’s representative said.

Meanwhile, a local resident told RT that “Ukrainian channels are working as usual.” The resident added that the situation in the town is generally calm.

Slavyansk Self-Defense press-secretary Stella Khorosheva also confirmed to RT that they “took the tower under control.” She said the move was aimed to “prevent sabotage and the elimination of the TV tower by those who are against us or who would want to use the current situation in the city.” She underlined that the building had not been “seized.”

Commenting on whether the activists were planning to disconnect analog broadcasting as well, she said that many channels will stay on.

Maybe some Ukrainian channels will be replaced with Russian ones,” Khorosheva said.

The press-secretary gave an assurance that even if some TV channels are not broadcast, it would only be a temporary situation. She added that the self-defense group was not planning any redundancies “because we need specialists.”

Our task is to provide stable life in the city,” the spokesperson concluded.

There have also been reports of activists seizing a television center in Kramatorsk, another town in the Donetsk region. However, it was not immediately clear if that was a separate facility or the same TV tower reported about by Slavyansk media.

Following the February coup, the new Ukrainian authorities ordered all local cable operators to stop transmitting several Russian TV channels. The move was slammed as “repressive” by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The decision also raised a wave of criticism among Russian speakers in Ukraine, many of whom criticize Ukrainian television as being biased and attempting to blame Moscow for the current crisis in the country.
In recent weeks, Ukrainian border guards have repeatedly denied entry to Russian journalists.

These facts are blatant violations of democratic freedoms and the Ukrainian people’s right for free information,” Russian Senators said in a statement on Wednesday. “The Federation Council holds that any future violations of Russian journalists’ rights and restrictions of the Russian mass media’s activities in Ukraine are inadmissible and that the international community, in particular the representatives of the OSCE and international groups advocating press freedom, must at last adequately react to these violations.

On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities imposed severe restrictions on Russian men aged between 16 and 60 entering Ukraine without their families. They will only be allowed in if they have close relatives in the country or have an official invitation.

Comments (9)


Paul Ankin 26.04.2014 11:08

Dan Worth 26.04.2014 01:50

Countrie s hate Russia? Did you poll every citizen?


This is oversimplification. I don't have special feelings towards Russian people, and if any it's the positive feelings. I appreciate Russian culture, Russian attitude to life. What I strongly criticize is your expansive government (with Putin and Lavrow at the first place) trying to rebuild Soviet Union annexing surrounding countries. Russian people are blinded, mistreated, deceived and fooled by their politicians and they cannot see the truth. This is a problem. But they are a victims as much as other nations.


Boro Dizdarevic 20.04.2014 22:19

Stop rights sector,They are terorrists,Theu are neo naci.They are shame for all Europians and all World.They will be responsibiliti for start 3. worlds war.They are responisbility for Jasenuk and Turchinov.Rights sector is fasists.


Daniel Jones 17.04.2014 23:52

TDF 17.04.2014 19:53

Why complaining about Russian media being shut down? Russia also shut down VoA and other news channels, and all Baltic nations either blocked them or plan to do already.


Jesus,some of you pretend to be following the nes but never really follow you? VoA wasnt shut down - their license to broadcast in Russia expired and they have not applied to have it renewed yet. Thats different even CNN will stop broadcasting IN AMERICA if they should fail to have their broadcasting license renewed when it expires

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