TV, Radio Outlets Threatened in Ukraine

Armed men force BBG programming off air
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TV stations in Eastern Ukraine that carry Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Voice of America programming have been forced off the air, according to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees the programming.

BBG said that on May 12, armed Russian-speaking men forced employees off a radio station in Donetsk affiliated with RFE/RL. That follows an attack on an RFE/RL crew May 1 while covering a demonstration in Kharkiv.

In addition, VOA said its Channel 5 in the Ukraine has lost its signal in Donetsk and Luhansk, and a number of cable providers have been threatened, said BBG.

On May 2, men carrying weapons threatened VOA video reporters in Donetsk, while another VOA reporter in Donetsk was warned that he had been targeted for capture.

"Despite the increasingly dangerous environment for reporters in the region, VOA and RFE/RL have been providing much-needed news and information," said BBG on its Web site.

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