February 9, 2023
Servant of the Other folks lawmaker Oleksiy Kovalev poses for an image with Maksym Buzhanskiy, a fellow deputy, in parliament on Jan.16, 2021. (Oleksiy Kovalyov/Fb)

Oleksiy Kovalov, a lawmaker with the ruling 242-member Servant of the Other folks celebration, introduced on Dec. 28 that he has purchased the national TV Channel 4. 

Kovalov stated that the broadcaster with its crew of 200 folks will keep its “pro-Ukrainian vector” and impartial editorial coverage.

“Our circle of relatives made up our minds to shop for a TV channel and make it even higher, extra robust and extra standard,” Kovalev wrote on Fb.

He additionally claimed that Channel 4 is “the one one within the nation similarly far away from all political and oligarchic teams.”

Then again, some media professionals consider that the acquisition is supposed to enhance sure protection of President Volodymyr Zelensky, who heads Kovalov’s celebration. 

Natalia Ligacheva, head of the watchdog Detector Media, known as it a political acquire “to make the dream of Zelensky and his crew to have their very own media come true… they proceed to construct their media empire.”

In a remark to Ukrainska Pravda, Kovalov denied Zelensky’s involvement within the acquire.

After the Channel 4 acquire, Kovalov’s folks probably changed into its beneficiaries, consistent with open information assets revealed by way of Ukrainska Pravda. Kovalev himself is indexed as the only owner of a prison entity known as Interradio with a registered capital of $160,000. 

Previous to the sale, Channel 4 belonged to Dmytro Dobrodomov, a former lawmaker. He has stated it took 4 years to show a little-known channel with 3 cameras, a small studio room and a number of other staff into a countrywide broadcaster. However the channel wishes extra money.

“Formidable plans require vital investments, which the brand new proprietor of Channel 4 is able to supply,” stated Dobrodomov.

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The estimated sum of money to stay the channel afloat is round $220,000-300,000 monthly, consistent with Ligacheva.

“Kovalov does no longer have this cash. This acquire is obviously no longer pursuing trade targets,” Ligacheva stated. 

She believes that the acquisition is a part of an try by way of the president’s faction to extend keep watch over over the media, at the side of the national enlargement of 2 different TV channels: state channel Dom, which is broadcast in occupied territories and Rada, the legit channel of parliament. 

She stated each are being was Zelensky’s mouthpieces. Dom newshounds had in the past reportedly complained of editorial power and being instructed to reward Zelensky’s initiatives extra regularly. 

“The (Rada’s channel) management does no longer keep watch over the printed, it’s managed by way of folks from the presidential management circle,” stated Ligacheva. 

“Channel 4 suits completely into this scheme.”

Ekonomichna Pravda in the past reported that Kovalov will have allegedly won a $30,000 bribe to boycott a vote in 2019. 

A local of the southern Kherson Oblast, Kovalov is a member of the parliamentary committee on finance, tax and customs coverage.