Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree that combines all national TV channels into one platform.
Zelensky’s office said the decree is due to the need for a “unified information policy” under martial law, in a statement on Sunday. Adding that it is necessary “to tell the truth about the war” and that it is a matter of national security, given “the direct military aggression of the Russian Federation, the active dissemination of misinformation by the aggressor state, [and] distortion of information, as well as justifying or denying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine…”
Ukrainian privately owned media channels have hitherto continued to operate since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. However, they will be suspended under the new decree.
According to the decree, the new channel will be known as “Unique News.”
Martial law was introduced in Ukraine on February 24, the day Moscow launched its military attack against the country, and will be in force until at least the end of April.
Zelensky also announced a ban on “any activity” by 11 political parties including the parliament’s second-largest group, Opposition Platform – For Life, citing their “connections” with Russia.
Zelensky told CNN on Sunday that he is ready to enter negotiations with Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
“I’m ready for negotiations with him. I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations we cannot end this war,” he said. “I think that we have to use any format, any chance in order to have a possibility of negotiating, [a] possibility of talking to Putin. But if these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third World War.”
Earlier in the month, Russian lawmakers approved legislation that banned the dissemination of ‘fake news’ about Moscow’s military operation. Those found guilty under the law could be placed behind bars for up to 15 years.
Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor also blocked access to several liberal news outlets, including Ekho Moskvy radio, Dozhd TV channel, and the Latvian-based Russian-language website Meduza.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.