Ukrainian Government Now Has the Power to Heavily Regulate Media, Block Websites, and Censor Social Media Content
On December 29, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a bill into law that vastly increases the government’s regulatory power over news media outlets. Ukraine’s new law will grant the government new powers to censor media content and represents another blow dealt to free speech in the war-torn country.
According to Dan Frieth of Reclaim the Net, this new bill significantly amplifies the power of Ukraine’s principal state media regulator by allowing it to regulate online and print news media content.
In addition, this legislation would allow for the Ukrainian state to impose fines on media outlets, revoke media outlets’ licenses without due process, and temporarily block websites without going through the courts. Last but certainly not least, Zelensky’s bill would grant the state regulatory agency the power to order search engines such as Google and other social media platforms to take down content. In a similar vein, Ukraine has passed legislation to ban political parties that are perceived to be pro-Russian. Dissent is not exactly the Ukrainian state’s political North Star.
Regardless of what the corporate media say, Ukraine is no bastion of democratic principles. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can be criticized by Westerners, Ukraine is an incredibly corrupt and underdeveloped state. This is no Switzerland that we’re talking about here. According to Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Ukraine was ranked in 122nd place in terms of corruption rankings.
Like many Slavic states, Ukraine is quite corrupt and authoritarian. It would be naive to treat it like any other developed Western state at this juncture, especially, at a time when most of the Collective West is facing growing social unrest and an economic climate of mass uncertainty.
Getting embroiled in an inter-Slavic conflict is the last thing the West should even consider doing.