Ukrainian Officials Threaten Owner of Jewish International TV Channel

JTA – Vadim Rabinovich, the owner of the Jewish international TV channel JN1, charged that Ukrainian officials are trying to take over the station and have threatened him.

The Kyiv Post weekly on Jan. 21 quoted a statement by the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress – an organization headed by Rabinovich – as reading, “A senior official from the current government visited Rabinovich on Jan. 17 and, threatening harassment, including physical violence, demanded that the JN1 television channel be transferred to them within a week.”

No official was named in the report. Rabinovich reportedly made a complaint to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.

Alexander Zanzer, JN1’s Brussels bureau chief, told JTA that Ukrainian police recently inspected JN1′s offices in Kiev, “but it is not sure who is ultimately behind this newfound interest in us.” He added, “It would seem like someone decided they could use JN1 to exert control. I am not sure who it is, but we are speaking out against it before it becomes more serious.”

Co-owned by Rabinovich and fellow Ukrainian Jewish philanthropist and businessman Igor Kolomoisky, JN1, or Jewish News One, began broadcasting in 2011. Along with Kiev, it has offices in Brussels and Paris.

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