Ukraine television attacks Russian language

Ukraine’s television is in for great changes: on Thursday the National Council for television and broadcasting passed a decision to ban announcement of movies and TV programs with violence and erotic elements within the period of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is not explained what exactly is ranked among such elements. Should battle scenes from the Star Wars be considered violence (but if not, why then)?

Leadership of TV companies will have to follow President Leonid Kuchma’s decree “On urgent additional measures for strengthening of morals and healthy way of living” of March 15, 2002. It is also joked that probably soon for the sake of morals strengthening scenes of corruption, nepotism and toading will be banned too. Indeed, such scenes are as bad as erotic.

What is more, Ukraine’s broadcasting companies are ordered within one year to start making all programs in the national language only. In other words, no programs in Russian are to be made any longer. Interfax-Ukraine informs, the National Council press-service explains that the decision agrees with a Number 9 Article of Ukraine’s Law “On television and broadcasting.” At that, it is not informed whether the decision meets interests of millions of Russians and Russian-speaking people of Ukraine.

At the same time, future of the National Council itself (its present-day staff) is not definite at all. Head of the parliamentary committee for freedom of speech Nikolay Tomenko told PRAVDA.Ru correspondent, the Supreme Rada has got enough votes to dismiss the Council within the nearest time. In Tomenko’s words, composition of the National Council is to reflect correlation of political powers after parliamentary elections. Besides, many deputies and mass media are dissatisfied with the work of the present-day Council. Deutsche Welle informs, Editor-in-Chief of Kiev’s Kontinent radio station Sergey Sholokh would bring an action to the European Court for human rights against the state of Ukraine. The appeal is based upon a decision of the National Council for television and broadcasting to strip Kontinent radio of its license. Many people in Kiev explain the decision with political reasons, although the National Council stated several times already it h ad nothing to do with politics.

Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine

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