Raining Snakes and Frogs
Ukraine’s National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting (NRCT) banned Ukrainian distributors from broadcasting TV Dozhd (Rain) in Ukraine, asserting that the channel did not recognize Ukraine’s borders. In short, it shows The Crimean peninsula as a part of Russia. Is it enough for restrictions?
Some consider Dozhd as one of Russia’s few remaining independent TV stations. Other say that if Dozhd showed Crimea as a part of Ukraine it would have been fined and even closed by Kremlin authorities, so it just did not have way out and NRCT should have put itself in its place. Freedom House was particularly concerned.
“The government ban of broadcasts by Dozhd is censorship that restricts Ukrainians’ access to a choice of viewpoints,” said Robert Herman, vice president for international programs at Freedom House. “With Russian forces occupying part of Ukraine, it is vital that Ukrainians have access to independent coverage of events in Russia and to one of the few remaining independent Russian media outlets.”
The first thing Russian authorities do in occupied Crimea is deleting all Ukrainian TV channels from Crimean air. I could not manage to find any Freedom House remarks about that, but ok. Let’s consider if Dozhd’s ban really “restricts Ukrainians’ access to a choice of viewpoints”. On that picture below you can see vast choice of persons which very often express their viewpoints on the air of Dozhd. There is a short hit parade for your attention.
The first is publicist Dmitry Olshansky. “There is no Ukraine, there is only South Russia, so we should throw Ukrainians out from that land,“ Mr. Olshansky said. “The state with 400 billion dollars, nuclear weapon, huge army and several millions of police and security forces personnel can clean up Donetsk (occupied territories in eastern Ukraine) in several days. Russia needs several days to knock Ukrainian army out and several for police filtering”.
The second very important Dozhd’s speaker whose opinion Freedom House considers as a part of “independent coverage of events” is political activist and writer Eduard Limonov. “We left Ukraine alive for nothing,“ he said. “After Crimea Russia should do the same with other regions of Ukraine where people use Russian language… Ideal Russia of future must have Kahrkiv, Odesa, Zaporizhzhya, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions of Ukraine. Thus, Azov sea will be inner Russian sea as it was conceived by God… we should hurry and take everything we can before Ukraine joins NATO. After Ukraine joins NATO we have to war with NATO to get these parts of Ukraine… Russian authorities’s mistake is it doesn’t say: “This is Russian land and fuck off from here!”.
The third example is blogger and sputnikipogrom.com owner Yegor Prosvirnin. “As we take up to ruin Ukraine, we should go and take Kyiv, put the puppet government there to make it sign peaceful agreement,“ he said. “If Ukrainians would like to fight (for independence from Russia – O.Sh.) they should wait cluster bombs strikes in Lviv. When we start using our heavy flamethrower tanks TOS-1, Ukrainians will come to the conclusion that they are not so interested in their independence”.
But even if Dozhd never invites such persons in the air, the only fact with showing the map where Crimea is a part of Russia can lead to the same consequences which American broadcasters could wait from Capitol if they regularly present to the US audience some Russian TV reports like that.
“America panics! Alaska seems to be coming back home – to Russia,“ REN-TV commentator says. “Our Alaskan compatriots claim that first Slavic tribes emerged there thousands years ago. So now they have right to come back to the Russian World like Crimeans did. Alaskan people never forgot Russia and some of them consider themselves as Russians”.
If you think that it is just a joke, remember that there is no Russian soldiers in Alaska, but there is a lot of them in Crimea. Of course, Dozhd is not REN-TV, but they play by the same rules. All that rubbish even doesn’t look like news or some kind of journalistic work. Dozhd is not real rain, but rain of snakes and frogs.