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Under five websites and no TV channels active in Kherson – IMI representative

12.04.2023, 18:19
Photo by Anton Fedorov
Photo by Anton Fedorov

Kherson oblast media are resuming their work following the Russian occupation, although the process is very slow. Namely, there are up to five websites, two radio stations, and no TV channels currently active in Kherson.

This was said by the editor-in-chief of the "Most" publication, representative of the Institute of Mass Information in the oblast, Serhiy Nikitenko, at the forum "Freedom of Expression in Wartime Ukraine", organized in Kyiv and initiated by the Freedom House, reports the ZMINA.

The journalist said that while Kherson was occupied, up to 15 websites and all TV channels were closed down. The editors of one TV channel sided with the occupiers.

Now Kherson redion media are being revived, but the television still does not work, because as the Russians were retreating, they blew up the TV tower. Namely, the "Kherson+" TV channel only works through the website and on social media.

"Over 70% of local journalists say that there funding is a problem. Others closed down during the occupation, not for this reason, but because they or their relatives remained in Kherson. I know several media outlets that resumed their work on November 11, 2022 – the date our oblast was deoccupied, and this is very telling," Nikitenko clarified.

According to him, the problems that are holding the media back also include the access zones for journalists, introduced by the military access the territories where combat is going on.

"It's very strange when the legendary Chornobayivka, which is still under fire and which is located in the Kherson suburbs, is in the yellow zone, and some Davydiv Brid, located hundreds of kilometers away from the front line, is in the red," he explained.

At the same time, the IMI representative noted that there is a dialogue with the military and the city administration regarding access to these territories.

On March 3 in Kherson, the occupiers took over the premises of Suspilne branch, the staff continues to work remotely. Armed men set up trip wires around the building. In addition, the occupiers, who had seized the television studio and the TV center, cut off the Ukrainian television signal.

The Kherson Regional Prosecutor's Office has opened a criminal investigation into the seizure and mining of the Kherson branch of Suspilne Broadcaster by Russian security forces. The case has been opened under Art. 341, part 1 of Art. 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine: seizure of state or public buildings, facilities, as well as for violations of the laws and customs of war.

On May 11, the collaborators announced that the TV and radio company "Tavria" will start broadcasting in the region.

On May 16, Suspilne announced that the Russian military had looted the Suspilne Kherson branch and was using it as a basis to create a propaganda channel.

The building of Suspilne's Kherson branch was captured by the Russian military as soon as they entered the city. They set up one of their headquarters there. The equipment was taken away, the offices were "turned upside down", military equipment was stacked in the branch's courtyard, reported Suspilne correspondents.

On November 12, 2022, while retreatig from Kherson to the left bank of the Dnipro, the Russian occupiers blew up a TV tower.

After the city was liberated, Suspilne Kherson manager Mykhailo Svarychevsky installed the Ukrainian flag on the facade the branch's building again.

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