Comment by Dmytro Belyansky, member of Media Group Ukraine Supervisory Board

Published Wed, 24 November, 16:50

The joint public statement by part of parliamentarians of the Servant of the People faction regarding TV channels ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukraine 24’ is a form of an answer to the journalists’ questions on “Wagnergate”, which were asked on air of ‘Freedom of Speech with Savik Shuster’ on November 19. The government’s refusal to present its position on the air automatically meant that we would find the answer in other ways. In this case, this is an attempt to tarnish the reputation of our channels and their employees.

It is likely that such an answer will significantly worsen the situation with freedom of speech in our country.

MGU works in strict adherence to the interests of society, strictly observing the standards of journalism and the principles of freedom of speech. We cannot hush up either the results of Bellingcat’s international investigation into the special operation against the “Wagnerites” or the topic of the Ukrainian president’s offshores or other high-profile investigations. The authorities have the right to comment or refuse to comment, but information of public interest will always be published.

The editorial policy of ‘Ukraine’ and ‘Ukraine 24’ did not, does not and cannot change, as it is entirely based on the principles of freedom of speech. Rinat Akhmetov, a shareholder in Media Group Ukraine (MGU), does not interfere in the editorial policy of ‘Ukraine 24’ and other MGU assets, and he has repeatedly stated this openly. Nor did he interfere in it before, and I cannot imagine any circumstances that might cause Mr. Akhmetov to do it in the future.

Information TV channel ‘Ukraine 24’ is a channel of plural opinions. Covering the audience of the whole nation, the channel has been holding the lead among its competitors for 37 weeks. In the first half of November, ‘Ukraine 24’ gained a maximum rating of 0.4% with a share of 2.33%. Yesterday, on November 23, the channel became the leader of the day in two audiences. The share is 3.31. Rating 0.55 (audience 18+ all over Ukraine). Share – 3.57. Rating 0.57 (audience 18+ all over Ukraine)”.

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