Ukraine has sanctioned the media assets connected to a political heavyweight with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kyiv’s latest move against pro-Kremlin figures inside the country.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on February 2 signed off on the sanctions proposed by his national-security team against three television stations nominally owned by Taras Kozak, a member of the pro-Russian faction Opposition Platform For Life.
However, Ukrainian media claim the broadcasters — Ukrainian television channel 112, NewsOne, and ZIK — are actually owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, the head of the faction’s political council and one of the richest and most influential individuals in the country.
Medvedchuk denies he owns the television stations.
The 66-year-old Medvedchuk, who picked Putin to be the godfather of his daughter, was sanctioned by the United States in March 2014 following the overthrow of pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych for his role in undermining democracy in Ukraine.
As a result of the sanctions approved on February 2, the stations were immediately shut down but they continue to stream their content on the Internet.
Source – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty