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Ukraine’s 1+1 calls on channels to bypass Russian content

Alexander Tkachenko, the general director of Ukrainian free-to-air broadcaster 1+1, has called for TV stations in the country to focus on producing their own content rather than Russian imports.

Tkachenko made the call at an industry round-table event and comes as tensions continue between Russia and Ukraine.

The 1+1 boss said that it was important to concentrate on local programming in the current situation and that the promotion of content that might promote Russian values was unacceptable in the context of recent events.

“We have the talent and capabilities to produce their products, in addition, Ukraine has become the Russian Hollywood and used as a set,” 1+1 said in the wake of the round table event.

It added that Ukrainian channels are spending about half of their programming budgets on Russian content, but that the idea that Russian imports are cheaper than local originals is false. Given the state of the economy – shooting Ukrainian serials and movies [in Ukraine] would be much cheaper,” Tkachenko said.

1+1’s lobbying of the local industry also called for greater cooperation with other non-Russian TV territories, notably Poland. It added that the authorities need to get involved and support local production efforts

“If the National Council is willing to support [the industry], we are ready to provide suggestions as to how to encourage and help to ensure that production of TV and movies in the UK continues,” said Tkachenko.

In response, National Council for Television and Radio representative Olga Herasymyuk said the regulator was willing to lend its support and was waiting for suggestions and input from the country’s broadcasters.

In May, 1+1 issued new guidelines on Russian-originated programming as the tensions and crisis between the two states continue.