Ukrainian TV channels are broadcasting under a common logo, the flag of Ukraine, and a slogan in both Ukrainian and Russian: Yedyna Krayina/Yedinaya Strana (United Country). All of Ukraine’s five major groups – Media Group Ukraine, Inter Media Group, Starlight Media, 1+1 Media and 5th Channel are conforming.
“We have a single country to live in and shared values to unite us,” says the press release issued by the media groups’ executives. “There is nothing to come between us. There is nothing for us to quarrel over.”
Each group have also signed an open letter to the director-generals of three Russian media organisations – JSC Channel One, the Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company and JSC NTV. “We ask you for open, balanced and objective coverage of events taking place today in Ukraine. We ask you to understand and support the position of all central Ukrainian TV channels and to consider responsibly every word. We have no rights to stir up enmity between the fraternal Russian and Ukrainian people, to broadcast unverified information or distort the reality.”
“We are confident that if the existing confrontation escalates into military action – the will be no winners, everyone will lose. Our populations, bounded with history, faith and blood will both lose. We believe that today, together we can do everything to prevent this from happening.”
Meanwhile, according to reports, Crimean regional authorities in Simferopol blocked transmissions of the two privately owned broadcasters’ analogue signals to the peninsula on the order of Sergei Aksenov, the recently appointed pro-Russian prime minister of the region. Apparently Russian state-owned broadcasters Rossiya and Rossiya-24 are being transmitted on the airwaves of Channel 5 and Channel 1+1.