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1+1 accuses Russia of sabotaging new Ukrainian channel

Ukrainian free-to-air broadcaster 1+1 has accused Russia of attempting to discredit its fledgling international news channel.

Ukraine Today, stylised in the same way as state-backed Russian news channel Russia Today, launched last week.

Over the weekend, 1+1 said that fake Ukraine Today Facebook pages and YouTube accounts, using the new channel’s branding, had appeared. The clone sites, 1+1 said, contain ‘provocative anti-Ukrainian content’ in Russian.

“Russia is trying hard to create pretexts to discredit the international channel Ukraine Today,” the broadcaster said.

It added that it has appealed to YouTube and Facebook to have the clone sites removed.

Russia is trying hard to create pretexts to discredit the international channel Ukraine Today. Fake pages branded with channel’s logo with a provocative anti-Ukrainian content in Russian language appeared on Youtube and Facebook.

Ukraine Today has already appealed to the administration of Youtube and Facebook with the request to block the clone pages.

“We understand that Russia’s attention to the channel, which was launched only on August 24, means that we’ve taken the right direction,” said Tatiana Pushnova, general producer of Ukraine Today, in a statement.

“We also understand that Kremlin’s victory in the information war they started against Ukraine, at the moment, is of great importance to them, and they will not spare neither strength nor resources for it,” she added.

Ukraine Today carries English-language news and current affairs content. It is carried free-to-air on satellite. 1+1 plans to roll out German and Russian-language versions of the channel.