Archive for December 21st, 2013

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“Values” on life support as “interests” firmly take control

December 21, 2013

Although not the EU poster-boy relating to selective justice – though perhaps he should be as it would demonstrate universal values with him having opposing visions to the EU – Igor Markov sits in jail for daring not to follow the Party of Regions line when it was all in favour of signing the EU Association Agreement – and Mr Markov dissented.

That’s what being vocally pro-Russia got him, as it turns out now, rather perversely – and he was not the only one to suffer for his sins.  Those who vouched for him politically also suffered.

Since then, Mr Markov’s business interests have slowly begun to suffer – to nobody’s surprise – and previous Russian declarations of concern (similar to those stated by the EU over Ms Tymoshenko) for Mr Markov were met by a deaf ear in Kyiv.

On the same day President Yanukovych rebuked the EU for having politicians visiting the Євромайдан – a protest about all the things Ukraine is not (and to be honest has never been) regarding values – Mr Markov’s television regional channel, Art TV, was taken off air by the broadcasting regulator.

Worrisome and very dark clouds are gathering for democratic values.

Now it may be possible to make some form of arguement under the OSCE Charter relating to foreign MPs physically being present and supporting popular protests in a foreign sovereign nation – but it is very difficult to argue that anything Art TV presents – which is naturally critical of the current leadership after it selectively  incarcerated the broadcaster’s owner, and its pro-Russia in framing –  provides grounds to take it off air.

I have argued for it remaining on air when Batkivshchyna’s Mykola Tomenko also wanted to close it down 18 months ago – and I rarely watch Art TV other than to intermittently keep a watchful eye on the pro-Russian framing it uses.

With regards to content and time spent watching it, I would not miss it now it is off air.  With regard values and the principle of free speech, I cannot accept this decision apathetically.  It may very well be a symptom of what is yet to come with a renewed vigor from the leadership – and thus requires flags being raised.

As the EU publicly said nothing relating to the obvious selective justice Mr Markov was subjected to, it would seem a fair bet it will say nothing over his TV station being shut down either – despite the need to confront Russia and the current leadership on values rather than economics when it comes to Ukraine and its future direction.

Unsurprisingly, as the current government is going to pursue a policy of “economics” first and foremost, and Homo Sovieticus as a species seems unable to deal with several issues simultaneously with any level of competency – or take responsibility for anything – there is a serious concern that “values” will be on a life support machine in the imminent future – either by design or default.

How best to prevent that happening over the next 15 months, remains the most vexing of questions for the moment.

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