Banding together, once rivals created a wartime system where media groups share several air hours a day, which are broadcast by all six central TV channels to ensure around-the-clock broadcasting.
With the start of the full-scale war, the leaders of Ukraine’s largest television holdings — typically business (and sometimes, political) rivals quickly got together to reorder the way TV would be broadcast in the face of the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian Pravda has reported on the back story of this momentous decision to effectively turn national broadcasting into an ongoing shared telethon.
"It immediately became clear that we need to speak 24/7. This is very difficult because we need to quickly and completely reformat the entire network of TV channels, there is no time, plus dangerous if, God forbid, a rocket arrives or a signal falls," one producer recalled.
The wartime system means media groups share several air hours a day, which are broadcast by all six central TV channels. This ensures around-the-clock and uninterrupted broadcasting.
According to Ukrainian Pravda, the president's office sent requests to TV channels to cover some topics and speakers. In particular, before the defenders of Azovstal left Mariupol, the TV channels asked for less coverage of this topic to reduce the degree in society and to ensure that the defenders left safely.
However, the biggest problem of the telethon is that it is too similar and there are also elements of low-quality counter-propaganda and no lack of criticism from the authorities.
"In the beginning, we were a little overwhelmed with emotions, because people had to give a sense of hope for victory,” said one media executive close to President Zelensky’s ruling party. “We succeeded, but it got a little out of control. Then it was difficult to steer and slow down. So now we started talking about the deaths of heroes, about destruction and so on. That is, we try to show the reality, although it is always difficult."
Two Front Lines: Severodonetsk And Kharkiv
A man walks his bicycle past a huge crater in the street after a Russian rocket hit the Kharkiv region
The situation on the front line in the Donbas region remains focused on the mid-sized city of Severodonetsk, which is almost completely occupied by Russian troops. By Tuesday morning, the Ukrainian army there has been pushed back into the industrial zone and fighting is going on around the Azot chemical plant, where civilians are also hiding from the bombing.
"We have established that the Russian army is launching a large-scale offensive in our region, they have accumulated enough reserves, and today (June 20) all the settlements in the region are at war," reports Serhiy Haidaï, the head of the Luhansk regional administration, which accounts for more than half of Donbas.
Another city in the Luhansk region - Lysychansk - has also been targeted by continuous Russian shelling.
Meanwhile, to the north in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, Russia has renewed its shelling. Concern is growing that the city, which had repelled earlier Russian assaults, will again be a target for a major offensive.Oleh Syniehubov, a top military commander in Kharkiv, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces are monitoring the movement of troops. “Given the events that unfolded after 24 February, we clearly understand that Kharkiv and the region are crucially important for the enemy,” he said. “We are doing everything possible to be prepared for any scenarios."
Russian Television Broadcast In Captured City Of Kherson
A protester holds a placard which reads 'Free Kherson from Russian occupiers'.
The Russian army has announced that the entire region of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, would be connected to Russian television channels.
Kherson was captured by the Russian troops in early March. Ever since then, Moscow has been implementing a policy of “Russification” of the territories under its control in southern Ukraine. The Russian currency, the ruble, has been introduced and Russian passports are beginning to be distributed.
On Tuesday, one of the new pro-Russian officials in the Kherson region, Kirill Stremooussov, said that this territory could later be attached to Russia. "We will have a referendum this year. And at the end of this referendum, we will address the leaders of the Russian Federation so that they accept us within Russia," Stremooussov said, reported the state news agency TASS.
UK’s New Army Chief: Troops Must Prepare For Battle In Europe
Sir General Adrian Bradshaw
The new head of the British army, Patrick Sanders, has warned troops that they must prepare “to fight in Europe once again” to deter Russia. In an internal memo seen by the BBC, Sanders said: “Russia's invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose — to protect the UK and to be ready to fight and win wars on land — and reinforces the requirement to deter Russian aggression with the threat of force.”
The comments were backed by the former director of the British special forces, Adrian Bradshaw.“By preparing for war properly, by building really solid deterrence, we will stop war from happening,” Bradshaw said in a radio interview. “What General Saunders is saying is something that’s been said by military commanders for a thousand years — if you want peace, prepare for war.”
Zelensky: Africa Is “Hostage” Of The War
\u201cJe remercie le Pr\u00e9sident @ZelenskyyUa pour son adresse conviviale de ce jour \u00e0 la r\u00e9union virtuelle du Bureau \u00e9largi de l\u2019@_AfricanUnion. L\u2019Afrique reste attach\u00e9e au respect des r\u00e8gles du droit international, \u00e0 la r\u00e9solution pacifique des conflits et \u00e0 la libert\u00e9 du commerce.\u201d— Macky Sall (@Macky Sall) 1655728835
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called Africa a hostage of the war in Ukraine during a videoconference address to the African Union.
“Africa is actually a hostage... of those who unleashed war against our state” Zelensky said during his speech, as reported by Jeune Afrique magazine.
This meeting took place behind closed doors and was chaired by Senegalese President Macky Sall, current chairman of the AU.
Since the beginning of the war on February 24, the Kremlin has blocked grain exports from Ukraine, which has sparked grain and fertilizer shortages, and put millions of people at risk of hunger. The blockade has also sent food prices soaring.
African countries have been divided in their response to Russia's war in Ukraine and in March, 17 of the countries abstained in a UN vote to condemn the invasion.
Earlier this month, Sall held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told Putin that African countries are innocent victims of the war in Ukraine and Russia should help ease their suffering.
While It Awaits EU Status, Ukraine Enters Regional Three Seas Initiative
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (r) and Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, meet at the Three Seas Initiative
While war continues in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky is not only looking for military partners but also economic ones. Indeed Russia’s invasion has accelerated the search for partnerships throughout central and eastern Europe. In the former Soviet republics, Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed its European neighbors to accept it into the circle of economic and political partners.
Within this context, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced that Ukraine would join the economic Three Seas alliance of 12 countries around the Baltic, Black, and Adriatic seas as a participating partner.
"This is a new type of partnership not only for Ukraine, but we assume that the same kind of partnership can be shared by those countries in Central Europe that are not members of the European Union but aspire to join," said Duda.
The Polish president also stressed that all Three Seas Initiative countries are in favor of granting Ukraine official EU candidate status, which Kyiv hopes will happen this week.
Kremlin Says Geneva Conventions Do Not Apply To Captured Americans
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Geneva Conventions for the protection of prisoners of war do not apply to the two Americans captured in Ukraine.
The Geneva Convention protections include that prisoners of war "must at all times be humanely treated."
Peskov gave an exclusive interview to NBC News on Monday night where he spoke of the two Americans as “soldiers of fortune”. He also accused them of being "involved in illegal activities."
The two U.S. citizens Alexander John-Robert Drueke, 39 and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, were taken into detention by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk after being captured last week.
Europe Freezes 12.5 Billion Euros Of Yachts, Art, Real Estate
Yachts moored in the marina, Monaco
The European Union has made significant progress in sanctioning Russian oligarchs, nearly doubling the seizure and freezing of assets in the last month alone, Die Welt reports.
So far, more than 12.5 billion euros worth of luxury yachts, helicopters, paintings, real estate property and other assets have been seized or frozen from people on sanctions lists for supporting Putin's war of aggression, a top EU official told the German daily Monday.
Russian’s Nobel Peace Prize Auctioned For $103.5 To Help Ukrainian Kids
Dmitry Muratov auctions off his Nobel Peace Prize
Russian editor Dmitry Muratov, a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, auctioned off his medal for $103.5 million, which he will donate to benefit Ukrainian child refugees.
“Right now, the award is an opportunity for me to share it with people,” said Muratov, editor-in-chief of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.