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You're reading: State TV ignores international criticism of Tymoshenko verdict

After this sentence no further confirmation may be needed that President Viktor Yanukovych’s words about non-interference in judicial matters are empty and the charges of selective justice and politically-motivated prosecution well-founded.

However, the European Union and other organizations would be well-advised to scrutinize coverage of the events on Ukrainian television when assessing their next moves. Coverage on all channels was seriously inadequate but we will focus on UTV-1, the state-owned channel whose new management was appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers soon after the change in regime last year. This is not only because the channel is paid for by all taxpayers regardless of political affiliations, but because of the propaganda value of its close association with Euronews and the obvious care taken over coverage of the verdict — care aimed very clearly at misleading the viewers.

In the evening news, Marina Kukhar first reads out the sentence, adding that the court had totally agreed with the prosecutor’s case. We are then shown protest scenes in the center of Kyiv before moving to the courtroom, where we learn that Judge Rodion Kireyev has stated that because the crime was of danger to the public and the defendant has not shown remorse, the sentence is harsh.

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