Ukrainian TV Channels Are Being Shut Down In Crimea

CrimeaREUTERS/Baz RatnerA couple stands next to armed servicemen outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava.

In further escalation of the Crimean conflict, Ukrainian TV channels are being blocked from broadcasting in the peninsula.

Julia Ioffe, senior editor at The New Republic, tweets:

This comes just hours after the Crimean parliament voted unanimously to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, pending a March 16 referendum.

Here’s what the Kiev Post reported (h/t The Interpreter):

“Armed men have seized the Simferopol Radio and Television Transmitting Station, turning off Channel 5 and 1+1 and turning on Rossiya 24, the Concern for Radio Broadcasting, Radio Communications and Television has said in a statement published on its official Web site.”

The blocking of Ukrainian TV channels is likely part of the broader struggle for the hearts and minds of the citizens of the peninsula. By shutting off contact with with the Ukrainian media, Russian propaganda efforts will have less competition.

Roy Glenside, writing for The Guardian, notes that the Ukrainian TV channel’s frequency will be taken over by the Russian TV channel Rossiya. Armed men have also reportedly halted Ukrainian journalists to enter the Crimea.

Crimea is composed of 60% ethnic Russians, along with Ukrainian and Tatar minorities.

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