President Petro Poroshenko condemned “pressure on the media,” but showed sympathy on Facebook for a “reaction by society” to the Russia-friendly TV station.
Several dozens of radicals in Kiev blocked the entrance to the opposition-friendly broadcaster NewsONE with barbed wire and sandbags on Monday.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned “pressure on the media,” but showed sympathy on Facebook for a “reaction by society” to the Russia-friendly TV station.
A pro-Russia separatist movement sprang up in the east of the former Soviet republic in reaction to the 2013-14 Euromaidan uprising, in which protesters demanded Ukraine minimise ties to Russia and orient itself toward the West.
Since then, Russia has annexed the region of Crimea from Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels have been fighting a years-long war in the eastern provinces of the country.
Broadcasting at NewsONE wasn’t interrupted due to Monday’s blockade.
The protest had begun in the late morning after the TV station showed a demonstration by supporters of former Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has called for the removal of Poroshenko from office.
Russia-connected former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in February 2014, clearing the way for Poroshenko’s pro-Western regime.
The demonstrators outside NewsONE, said Monday’s demonstration was elicited by comments from the broadcaster’s owner, who had called the toppling of Yanukovych’s government a coup.
Activists in Ukraine have taken measures to hinder pro-Russia media in the country, including using violence against the newspaper Vesti.
In April 2015, pro-Russia journalist Oles Buzina was shot in front of his house.
In September 2016, an editorial building of the broadcaster Inter was set on fire.