Expert: Not NCTRB but authorities will influence the fate of Church

The new head of the National Council of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting, former general producer of the Studio “1+1” TV company Olga Gerasimyuk. Photo:

Political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko commented on the appointment of Olga Gerasimyuk as head of the National Council of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting.

A week ago, on April 22, 2020, members of the National Council of Ukraine for Television and Radio Broadcasting elected as their new head Olga Gerasimyuk, who had previously been the general producer and host of the "1+1" TV channel, repeatedly noticed in the fabrication of fakes against the UOC and inciting inter-faith hatred. This appointment excited the believers, and therefore a UOJ correspondent asked the political analyst Konstantin Bondarenko to comment on the decision of the National Council members and explain what the Church can expect.

"Let us not overestimate either the importance of Olga Gerasimiuk herself or the importance of the National Council. The National Council is only a tool for the implementation of the state policy in the information field,” said the expert. “If there is a political order from the authorities concerning the pressure on the Church, then respectively, the National Committee for TV and Radio Broadcasting and a number of other structures will engage in a serious struggle, as it was under Poroshenko".

Bondarenko also noted that there is no need to be afraid of such a political order as President Vladimir Zelensky is trying to settle the problems rather than to make them worse.

Even if the Verkhovna Rada adopts the new Law "On Media", which has excited the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and the general public, then even then the attitude to the Church will depend not on the National Council for Television and Radio Broadcasting but on the state power, the political expert believes.

"In this situation, there is not always a readiness to strictly comply with the legislation. I repeat, only if there is a political order from the authorities, repressive actions will be carried out," he concluded.

Oleg Chernysh, former head of the Department for Broadcasting Network Development of the "1+1" TV channel, became deputy head of the NCTRB. Before that, Zelensky appointed the former employee of the PR and Marketing Department of the channel Alena Nitsko to the National Council.

Earlier, the “1+1” journalist offered money for kissing icons in Kyiv Lavra. Before that, the TSN repeatedly published various fakes against the UOC. The object of this media coverage at different times was the Holy Dormition Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the UOC priest from Morozivka, Archpriest Nikolai Brega, and the Zagaitsy Monastery.

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