Ukraine blocked pro-Kremlin TV channels, which, among other things, were shaping a positive image of Lukashenko; the new US ambassador in Belarus met with representatives of civil society; the case of five pensioners will be returned to court again
3 February 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Pro-Kremlin media are blocked in Ukraine. Among other things, they created a positive image of Lukashenko and broadcast misinformation about the Belarusian protests
President of Ukraine Uladzimir Zyalensky signed a decree imposing sanctions against Taras Kozak (the formal owner of the media holding of Putin’s godfather – Viktar Medvedchuk) and freezing the activities of his companies for five years. Three of his TV channels “112 Ukraine”, NewsOne and ZIK have their broadcast licenses revoked, and the possibility of their alienation and the withdrawal of funds abroad has been frozen. This is good news not only for Ukraine, but also for Belarus.
From the very beginning of the protests in Belarus, these TV channels showed the protesters in an extremely negative light and were part of “Kremlin’s Ukrainian front of anti-Belarusian propaganda”. The goal of “Medvedchuk’s TV channels” was to create a negative image of the Belarusian opposition in the eyes of Ukrainians and to preserve a positive image of Lukashenko. Although they failed to do this: Lukashenko’s trust rating dropped among Ukrainians from 66% to 36%.
The purpose of creating a positive image is also confirmed by the fact that representatives of the “Medvedchuk’s” TV channel “112 Ukraine” were also at the round table with Lukashenko on 13 November 2020, the day after the death of Raman Bandarenka, and they were brought by Taras Kozak’s private jet, a Gulfstream G450 with number T7-BRG at 10:53 am. Namely, at that event, Ukraine was represented by the only media lobbying Putin’s interests. Moreover, “Medvedchuk’s channels” actively supported the message about the “Ukrainian trace” in the radicalization of protests in Belarus, published disinformation about “Ukraine’s preparation of the Maidan in Belarus”, about the participation of “Ukrainian militants” in protest actions. And thus, they also formed a negative image of Ukraine in the eyes of Belarusians.
New US Ambassador in Belarus held important meetings in Poland
Julie Fischer, appointed US Ambassador in Belarus, arrived in Poland. She plans to hold a series of consultations, meet with representatives of governments, academic circles and civil society to discuss the situation in Belarus. At a meeting with Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Pshydach, Fischer stressed that the United States is concerned about the continuing violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus by the Lukashenko regime. Julie Fischer met with Pavel Latushka, a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council and the head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, to learn about the work carried out by NAM. Under the recently adopted “Belarus Democracy Act”, the US intends to actively support Belarusian civil society and its right to democratic development. Human rights violations in Belarus will receive an adequate response from the United States. Julie Fischer also plans to hold meetings with other representatives of civil initiatives and the democratic leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Julie Fischer also met with the director of the “BELSAT” TV channel Agneshka Ramashevskaya-Guzy and other representatives.
Case of detained pensioners who practised Nordic walking may be sent back to court
On 13 January 2021, five elderly women were detained while practicing Nordic walking in a forest near Vitsebsk. After an anonymous call, the women were detained by police officers and accused of unauthorized picketing. In a backpack one of them two flags were found, which, according to the woman, she planned to hand over to her friends after the walk for storage – she was afraid to keep them at home. The court considered that their guilt had not been proven and dropped the case. After the announcement of the ruling, the judge Veranika Barysava apologized to the women. However, the deputy prosecutor of Vitsebsk, Kiryl Dubau, appealed against the decision of the district court, now the case of the pensioners can be returned to the court. One of the pensioners, Tatsiana Sieviaryniec, is the mother of an opposition leader Pavel Sieviaryniec, who has been in prison for many months.