Ukraine bans Russian television channels, news agencies, and online newspapers

Kiev, Ukraine: Ukraine has banned more television channels and online newspapers including some news agencies, reports Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency.

Russia has reacted over banning electronic and media media outlet while stating that sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities is another manifestation of an unfriendly and short-sighted policy against Russia.

Russian largest English language news agency and online newspaper “Sputnik” is also banned in Ukraine on Tuesday evening.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Tuesday banning several television channels, news agencies, online newspapers and social media networking applications including the top rating Russian and Ukrainian language Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki social media networking.

Top Russian search engine Yandex is also banned in Ukraine today.

Presidential decree indicated that sanctions are (were) imposed against almost 500 legal entities, most of which are registered in Russia. In particular, the social network “Vkontakte” and “Odnoklassniki”, online services and “Yandex”, the manufacturer of software for accounting “1С”, online dictionaries ABBYY, companies that produce antivirus programs are subject to a ban in Ukraine. Sanctions against them are imposed for a period of three years.

In addition to the ban on Vkontakte, Poroshenko decreed that Ukraine impose sanctions against a number of Russian media outlets. The decree introduces a one-year sanction against NTV television channels, Channel One, RTR-Planeta, and Russia-24.

Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, TV channels Zvezda, VGTRK, TNT, TVC and RenTV, are also banned.

Ban is imposed for a period of three years on the Russian TV channels “TV Center”, “NTV-plus”, VGTRK, TNT, Zvezda, RBC news agencies and Radio Nashe.

VKontakte has responded against the ban stating that it always avoided politics and there was no sense to ban it. VKontakte spokesman in Ukraine Vlad Legotkin stated that Vkontakte was the most popular social network in Ukraine, which is visited by 16 million users every month.

“We, the VKontakte team, always avoided politics. We believe that the Internet, in essence, has no boundaries. We have defended and will defend the interests of all our users and partners, “said Vlad Legotkin in a message.

Yandex Group of companies while responding ban on Yandex Search Engine in Ukraine said in a statement that:

“Unfortunately, the decision of the Ukrainian authorities concerns not only us. These are sanctions against 11 million Ukrainian users who choose our services every month. The business of the Yandex Group of companies is very large, and the sanctions will not have a negative impact on it,”.

Western media while justifying censorship maintains that Ukraine imposed sanctions against Russian media outlets for its annexation of Crimea and war in east Ukraine.

Meanwhile bloggers in social media call banning over 400 news and information spreading outlets by Ukrainian government as serious infringe of freedom of expression and human rights.

It may be mentioned that Ukraine in March 2017 imposed sanctions against five Russian state-owned banks including Sberbank and VTB, BM Bank (VTB’s subsidiary), Prominvestbank (VEB’s subsidiary) and VS Bank (Sberbank’s subsidiary). Transfer of money and withdrawal of payments were seized. People who had accounts in these banks are still waiting for recovery of their money.