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Ukrainian row over TV map

March 22, 2017

By Chris Forrester

Ukraine says that the Belarus 24 satellite channel version of public broadcaster Belarus 1 TV channel is in violation of Ukrainian legislation because it persists in showing a map with the Crimea on some of its news programmes.

BBC Monitoring, quoting Interfax-Ukraine news agency, says that the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine issued a warning to the channel’s director Alyaksandr Martynenka and asked Belarus 24 to remove the alleged violations. “Otherwise, the watchdog will have to consider the suspension of the channel’s broadcast in Ukraine,” quotes Interfax.

Belarus is officially an independent country, although it was once a part of the USSR. Belarus 24 transmits over a wide region which includes the Ukraine, much of Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. It is headquartered in Minsk.

The Ukrainian National Council for TV added that Belarus 24’s coverage on Ukraine was one-sided and violated journalism standards. These actions violate the Ukrainian information law, according to the council.   In January, the Ukrainian watchdog banned broadcasts of the Russian liberal Dozhd TV channel in Ukraine for “non-recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. One of the reasons was that the TV showed the administrative border between Kherson Region and Crimea as a state border between Ukraine and Russia.

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