Ukraine bans websites accused of “pro-Russian propaganda”

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Kiev-The influential opposition news site has been sanctioned in Kiev for publishing “pro-Russian propaganda” and has been banned in Ukraine in connection with sanctions against exiled editors in Austria.

The ban on the strana.ua site was issued in the form of a decree signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, published on August 21.

Ihor Hushva, editor-in-chief of Strana.ua, has been in exile since 2018, when Ukraine’s National Security Council imposed sanctions on him and his company.

Hushva is one of dozens of people appointed by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council on August 20 to promote “pro-Russian propaganda.”

The August 20 council also imposed sanctions on many pro-Kremlin figures in Ukrainian politics, business and media.

Among them is Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, who was sanctioned by the US government in September 2020 after accusing him of being a Russian agent who tried to interfere with the US elections.

In January, the US Treasury sanctioned seven Ukrainians and four organizations for being part of the Russian foreign intelligence network operated by Derkach.

Derkach did not immediately comment, but previously denied the claim and said he was being targeted for exposing corruption.

Derkach has been associated with the efforts of former US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to find dangerous information about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter during the 2020 campaign in the paddy field.

“Sanctions are also imposed on four entities related to Internet resources, which are coordinated directly or indirectly by these citizens to implement systematic anti-Ukrainian propaganda,” the council said. Noted.

These include bloggers and politicians Anatoly Chaly and Olga Chaly, accused of running video blogs and websites considered pro-Russian. The couple also created a party with several representatives in city and state councils.

Ivan Bakanov, head of the Ukrainian security agency SBU, said measures had been taken to protect “the information space”.

“The security forces make a clear distinction between freedom of expression and attacks on the state and sovereignty of Ukraine,” Bakanov said.

In addition, sanctions were imposed on 28 members of the Russian intelligence and special services, as well as six others allegedly responsible for human rights abuses in Crimea.

Sanctions were also imposed on 12 legal persons, including local television stations, news agencies and online publications from Crimea.

“All of them are engaged in an information war against Ukraine and are actively involved in hybrid attacks,” the council said.

Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 after sending troops and holding a referendum that was dismissed as illegal in more than 100 countries.

Moscow is also backing separatists in a war with government forces that have killed more than 13,200 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Kiev Post report and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE / RL, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC20036


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