Petro Poroshenko has handed over the shares of “Pryamiy” and “Channel 5” to journalists, he said in a video message. Poroshenko stressed that free media is an important institution in every democratic state, and Zelensky’s desire to take control of all media in the country is the path to dictatorship.
“The truth hurts. And that’s why the embittered government is so eager to shut up media which is critical of it. The main thing for which the so-called “law on oligarchs” was invented for, no doubt, is to take full control of mass media,” Poroshenko stressed.
“The information services of most TV channels are already in the operational management of the President’s Office. But just rent to the government is not enough. It wants to take these channels into the actual ownership of Zelensky. He personally wants to determine the nominal buyers when he forces the current owners to sell their media resources through the “law on oligarchs”. And the fact that the sanction decisions by the National Security and Defense Council are made on a corrupt basis was blamed on none other than the leader of the Zelensky faction in the Rada,” the fifth President states.
According to him, Zelensky uses the same technology as Putin in Russia at the early 2000s: “Under the guise of allegedly fighting the oligarchs, he took control of TV channels, suppressed freedom of speech, destroyed political competition and built a dictatorship. Vladimir Alexandrovich wants to become like Vladimir Vladimirovich. But, as Leonid Danilovich said, Ukraine is not Russia.”
“It has been almost three years since the authorities tried to destroy the “Pryamiy” TV channel. The inauguration took place on May 21, 2019, and literally three days later, on May 24, 2019, a criminal case was initiated against the then owner of the channel. This was done on the orders of Yanukovych’s aide Portnov, who at the time was a key legal adviser to Zelensky. In mid-February of this year, a few hours before the Security Council could impose sanctions on Pryamiy, I was forced to buy shares in the Direct Channel to take freedom of speech under my protection,” Poroshenko recalled.
“The other day, because of these attacks on freedom of speech, which is a real target of the law on oligarchs, I was forced to decide to sell shares of both my channels to journalists, current and former, who worked on Pryamiy and, of course, on Channel 5. Those who fought censorship during the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity. Some of these journalists are people’s deputies. According to the law, they handed over their shares to TV channels, which merged into a holding company with the symbolic name “Free Media”,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“Ukraine is Europe. And free media is an important institution in every democracy. We will not destroy the conquest of the Revolution of Dignity. We will not allow a dictatorship similar to the Putin or Lukashenko regimes to be built in Ukraine,” Poroshenko said.