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    Off Air: Ukrainian MP Calls to Smash Satellite Dishes Carrying Russian TV

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    Commenting on Ukrainians' use of unlicensed satellite dishes to watch Russian television, thus circumventing Kiev's ban on over a dozen Russian channels, Radical Party MP Andriy Lozovoy proposed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs create a special police unit charged with destroying the dishes.

    Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian media have been reporting on a surge in Ukrainians' use of unlicensed satellite dishes, often installed with the express purpose of watching Russian television channels banned by the country's Ministry of Information Policy over the past year.

    Commenting on the failure of the Ministry to "protect Ukrainians from Russian propaganda," Radical Party MP Andriy Lozovoy proposed the creation of a special police unit under the Ministry of Internal Affairs charged with destroying the pirate dishes. 

    "Let the Ministry of Information Policy develop a program to block the signal. But if there is no political will for tough decisions, I will personally propose to [Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen] Avakov to see to it that police officers drive around and cut down these dishes," Lozovoy noted. The MP added that it is critical that the satellite dishes be blocked "at any cost," since they "brainwash people, especially older people, who believe what the television says."

    Commenting on the urgency of the matter, Lozovoy declared that "the danger is particularly acute in the regions where there is separatist sentiment, including Odessa and the Kharkiv regions." The deputy claimed to have information that "Kremlin agents" would use the transmission of information via satellite dishes in their 'separatist interests.'

    On June 1, an expert council under Ukraine's Ministry of Information Policy presented a draft "Concept on Information Security of Ukraine," aimed at ensuring "informational sovereignty of Ukraine," which would be achieved through "protective measures" from "external and internal threats." Earlier, President Petro Poroshenko called on the government to work out a series of measures to defend against Russian "informational aggression."

    Over the past year, Ukraine's National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting has banned the broadcast of 15 Russian television channels for their alleged contravention of the European Convention on Trans-Frontier Television and active Ukrainian legislation.

    Related:

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    Moldova Seeks to Ban All Russian TV News and Analysis Programs
    Tags:
    satellite tv, satellite television, satellite dishes, ban, National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, Ukrainian Ministry of Information Policy, Ukraine's Radical Party, Andrei Lozovoi, Kiev, Ukraine
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