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Volia moves Russian channels to pay tier, awaits regulator’s move

Ukrainian cable operator Volia has said it will not remove Russian news channels from its programming line-up ahead of a decision by the country’s media regulator, in accordance with the country’s laws.

Volia and other operators called on Russian news broadcasters to cease broadcasting what they describe as “false information and propaganda” surrounding the current political developments in Ukraine on their channels at the start of this month.

In the absence of clear guidelines from the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, Volia has said it had taken the initiative of suspending unencrypted access to RTR Planeta, Channel One International and NTV Mir where subscribers have voted for this change. The channels have been migrated to encrypted pay TV packages.

The company said it was ready to implement any decision by the regulator to pull the channels at a few hours’ notice but that it would comply with the law.

Subscribers voted to remove Russian channels from Volia’s unencrypted offering and transfer them to pay TV tiers in cities including Kiev, Lviv, Poltava, Ternopil, Vinnitsa, Zapaorozhye and Dnepropetrovsk, and against the transfer in Donetsk, Cherkasy, and – by a relatively narrow margin – Kharkiv.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian channels were removed from Crimean cable networks, following their removal from the terrestrial airwaves, and their places taken by Russian services.

Tags: Russia, Ukraine, Volia