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Suspilne asks Verkhovna Rada committees to assess Bezuhla's statements, look into attempted pressure on broadcaster

29.04.2024, 11:16
Photo by Suspilne
Photo by Suspilne

Suspilne appeals to the heads of four Verkhovna Rada committees with a request to assess the statements by deputy Maryana Bezuhla and to look into the attempt at putting pressure on the media company and undermining the reform to create an independent broadcaster, which was one of the prerequisites for Ukraine's accession to the European Union.

The broadcaster's statement was released on the Suspilne website on April 29.

"It saddens us greatly that we have to respond to the systematic false allegations regarding the media company's activities that have appeared on Facebook over the last few days," the broadcaster said.

Suspilne's requests to the Committees are as follows:

  • to the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Deputies' Ethics, and Organization of the Work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine: to give an assessment of Bezuhla's statements;
  • to the Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy and the Committee on Freedom of Speech: to look into the attempts to put pressure on the company and promote toxic narratives about it;
  • to the Committee on Ukraine's Integration into the European Unio: to give an assessment of the attempts to undermine the reform which Ukraine undertook under the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, the visa facilitation Agreement between Ukraine and the European Community, as well as before the Council of Europe in 2005 (Resolution 1466 (2005).

The broadcaster emphasizes that:

  • The existence of an independent public broadcaster is a prerequisite for Ukraine's accession to the EU. "The Suspilne Broadcasting reform began immediately following the Revolution of Dignity. The state-owned media outlet's successful transformation into a public media outlet has been repeatedly commended by the Council of Europe, the European Commission, USAID, and other international organizations," the statement reads.
  • Suspilne has an independent editorial policy and governing bodies independent of the government (the management board and the supervisory board) and continues to evolve and improve.
  • Suspilne's broadcasts contain no commissioned content, jeansa or manipulations. "Suspilne's news programs adhere to the highest standards of journalism. This has been repeatedly confirmed by Suspilne's inclusion in the White List of media outlets, which is a mark of quality. Our slot in the United News telethon offers the most balanced coverage, according to a monitoring by independent experts," the company said.
  • Suspilne is the only media outlet that is defined by the government as an object of strategic importance for the economy and state security. The company remarks that their streams continuted uninterrupted after the start of the full-scale war and provide objective news 24/7 on television, radio, websites, social media and in mobile applications.

The broadcaster also added that it fulfills all the provisions of the Law of Ukraine "On Mobilization Training and Mobilization".

"If anyone has reasonable doubts about our integrity in this matter, any individual or legal entity can contact the Suspilne Broadcasting directly with a request to the relevant government bodies, law enforcement agencies or court, and the Suspilne Broadcasting is ready to provide comprehensive answers and defend its reputation and integrity," the statement reads.

Suspilne also cited an industry study by Ernst & Young, which assessed the broadcaster's employees' salary lag at 48% compared to similar professionals in the market (as of January 1, 2024, compared to the three largest private media groups in the country, which took part in the study together with Suspilne).

"We consider every false allegation on this topic as an attempt to deprive Suspilne of legitimate funding, which can in turn lead to the destruction of its independence. Suspilne's policy is transparent, and we are open to any appeals and requests – not just from deputies," the statement reads.


It was reported on April 24 that the US State Department included the national telethon "United News" in its report on human rights violations in Ukraine in 2023. The report noted that the telethon provided the government with an "unprecedented level of control over primetime television news."

On April 24, deputy Maryana Bezugla made several Facebook posts on the feasibility of funding six state-owned channels, listing Suspilne as a "state-owned" broadcaster, too.

She noted that Suspilne, Dom and FreeDom have a small outreach and "diversify money allocation", and offered to fund just channel instead, namely, Rada or Suspilne.

On April 25, Svitlana Ostapa, the head of the Suspilne Supervisory Board, reported that the government plans to remove Suspilne from the evening slots of the telethon. The Suspilne Supervisory Board came out with a counter-proposal regarding the telethon slot reassignment: to give all primetime slots to Suspilne.

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