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Ukraine bans Russian fishing show

February 23, 2017

Love fishing? You may be out of luck if you speak Russian and happen to live in Ukraine.

The former Soviet republic on Thursday banned a long-running Russian fishing and hunting show because it recently featured a member of the Kremlin’s foreign military intelligence unit, the GRU.

The decision falls in line with a spate of Russian TV programmes taken off air in Ukraine in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged plotting and backing of its western neighbour’s 34-month eastern separatist war.

The fighting has claimed more than 10,000 lives and frozen relations between Russia and Ukraine while helping plunge Moscow’s ties with the West to a post Cold-War low.

Ukraine in December also banned Russian books glorifying the Kremlin and its leaders or espousing what it views as “totalitarian views”, a move that added to mutual recriminations between the two sworn foes.

The press service of Ukraine’s national council of radio and television broadcasting said the “Hunter and Fisherman HD” programme was being cancelled for allegedly violating European conventions.

It said two of its February shows featured a senior officer of Russia’s GRU — forbidden by Ukraine from appearing on national television.

Russia issued no immediate comment.

Ukraine ranked 107th out of 180 countries on the Reports Without Borders censorship watchdog’s 2016 World Press Freedom index.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.