ATR (TV channel)

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ATR (Cyrillic: АТР) is a Ukrainian TV Channel whose target audience is Crimean Tatars. It was broadcasting in Crimea, Ukraine from 1 September 2006 until 1 April 2015 when it was forced to shut down by occupying Russian authorities after failing to register under Russian law.[nb 1][3][4][3][4] In mid-June 2015 the channel resumed its broadcasting in mainland Ukraine and has since then been located in Kiev.[5] When located in Crimea most of the channel's programs were in Russian (60%) with 35% in Crimean Tatar and 5% in Ukrainian.[6] The channel uses Tamga as its brand logo.

History[edit]

The channel began to broadcast on 1 September 2006.[4] Since 2012 it has also been available via satellite. ATR's founder and owner is businessman Lenur İslâmov.[4]

ATR ran strongly pro-Ukrainian coverage of the events leading up to the 2014 Crimean referendum that led to the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.[3] After the annexation ATR received a formal warning over "extremist activities" and although is stayed fairly critical, it avoided terms like "annexation" and "occupation".[3]

In 2015 the channel changed its programming; it cut political talk shows and news and instead focused on cultural programs.[4]

On 26 January 2015 OMON riot police officers blocked the channel's building and conducted searches as part of a criminal investigation into pro-Ukrainian rallies a year before.[3][6]

After a meeting with the channel's top managers of 21 March 2015, referring to the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, Head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov stated that ATR “gives a hope for the return of the Crimea in Ukraine – which is silly – and it will never happen”.[4][7]

On 18 March 2015 the channel stated that if they didn’t get a broadcasting licence from Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor before 1 April 2015 it would have to stop broadcasting.[3][4][6] Since October 2015 it had been trying to obtain this license.[3] It did not obtain a license and thus shut down on 1 April 2015.[3] Head of the Republic Aksyonov stated on 1 April 2015 "The channel is whipping up tensions and creating a sense of insecurity in the public by raising hopes that Crimea will return to Ukraine. It has been explained to ATR's management that such channels cannot operate in our republic in this time of semi-war".[3] Amnesty International stated about ATR's shutdown "This blatant attack on freedom of expression, dressed up as an administrative procedure, is a crude attempt to stifle independent media, gag dissenting voices, and intimidate the Crimean Tatar community".[3] Head of the Republic Aksyonov denied any political agenda behind the refusal of a licence for ATR and stated "They are making mistakes deliberately to create conflict around the channel".[3] Other Crimean Tatar media requests for new licences were also denied and forced to shut down on 1 April 2015.[3]

Early May 2015 ATR's website resumed its activities.[8] On 18 June 2015 the channel resumed its broadcasting in mainland Ukraine and is since then located in Kiev.[5]

According to news reports ATR host Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed in Kiev on 29 May 2018.[9][10][11] However, the next day, he appeared alive at a press conference with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).[12] According to the SBU Babchenko's 'murder' had been staged to expose Russian agents.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The status of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol is currently under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider the Crimea to be an autonomous republic of Ukraine and Sevastopol to be one of Ukraine's cities with special status, while Russia, on the other hand, considers the Crimea to be a federal subject of Russia and Sevastopol to be one of Russia's three federal cities.[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Gutterman; Pavel Polityuk (March 18, 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 9, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ukraine crisis timeline". BBC News. November 13, 2014. Archived from the original on June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Crimean Tatar media 'silenced by Russia', BBC News (1 April 2015)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Crimean Tatar TV channel faces shutdown on April 1, Kyiv Post (March 31, 2015)
  5. ^ a b Persecuted Crimean Tatar TV channel reopens in Kyiv, Kyiv Post (18 June 2015)
    (in Ukrainian) Crimean channel ATR resumes broadcasting in mainland Ukraine, Ukrayinska Pravda (4 June 2015)
  6. ^ a b c (in Ukrainian) Tatar ATP channel cease broadcasting on 1 April, if he does not get registered as a media for Russian law., Gazeta.ua (March 18, 2015)
  7. ^ Crimea Deputies Back Acting Leader Sergei Aksyonov to Head Republic The Moscow Times
  8. ^ ATR world's only Crimean Tatar TV channel starts broadcasting on Internet, Interfax-Ukraine (7 May 2015)
  9. ^ Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kiev, The Guardian (29 may 2018).
  10. ^ Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko shot dead in Kiev, BBC News (29 may 2018).
  11. ^ Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is shot and killed in Kiev, Meduza (29 may 2018).
  12. ^ a b "'Murdered' Russia journalist is alive". BBC News. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.

External links[edit]