New Council of Ministers of Crimea restricts rights of journalists of largest Ukrainian media outlets
The new government of Crimea led by the non-legitimate Prime Minister Serhiy Aksionov restricts professional rights of journalists of several Ukrainian media outlets. The new Council of Ministers invites to its sessions only journalists of Russian media outlets and Crimean newspapers controlled by Akionov's government, like the Crimean Informational Agency and the state TV and radio company «Krym».
At the same time, journalists of the agencies UNIAN, «Ukrinform», «Ukrainski Novyny», websites «Tsent zhurnalistskykh rozsliduvan» (Center for journalist investigations), «Argumenty Nedeli – Krym», as well as the correspondent offices of the TV channels «Inter», «1+1», ICTV, «Channel 5», and «Channel 24» receive from the Council of Ministers neither official press releases, nor announcements of its members' briefings, nor invitations to events in any other form.
For the context, the buildings of the Council of Ministers and of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea were captured early in the morning of February 27 by unidentified men. The prosecutor's office launced a criminal investigation under article «act of terror». On the same day, the Crimean parliament held an unscheduled session with only a few MPs and sent into retirement the head of the Council of Ministers Anatoliy Mohyliov and appointed Serhiy Aksionov, the leader of the party 'Rossiyskoe Edinstvo' (Russian Unity), to the position of the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Askionov accused Ukrainian media of biased coverage of the events in the regions and threatened to stop the flow of their information. He claimed that the Council of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea are very open in their information policy.