Ukrainska Pravda ran the story on Wednesday claiming Volodymyr Petrov will be entrusted the job of Rada TV channel reboot that is long known for dry coverage of Ukraine’s parliament work.
Parliament’s deputy speaker Oleksandr Kornienko said the renewed TV channel will also report on Ukraine’s government and President’s office adding the update will cost taxpayers extra 20 million hryvnas in 2021.
What is happening with Rada TV channel
Apart from live broadcasts of Ukraine’s parliament sessions, Rada is now coming back with news reports, commentary and interviews with newsmakers.
Detector media found that the TV channel is bringing some new faces – Volodymyr Petrov will team up with blogger Serhiy Ivanov who earlier worked for Petrov’s Islandiya Youtube channel and a crowd of former TV journalists from earlier blacklisted Russia-leaning 112 Ukraina TV channel.
To get the reboot off the ground, the TV channel got 378 million hryvnas in state funding, which is roughly 6 times more (58 million) it was initially set to get according to 2022 state budget figures.
What we know about Volodymyr Petrov
political and communication consultant with reported links to state officials and history of past controversies.
Described aby many media experts as a ‘dirty-tricks provocateur’ and ‘media killer’, Petrov runs several media outlets and is also known for his unsuccessful bid for presidency some years ago. Notably, Petrov has never revealed sources of funding for his projects.
In 2018, he was engulfed in the Tinder scandal that saw Olha Varchenko, a senior official in Ukraine’s law enforcement, targeted with a brutal smear campaign. Petrov along with Vasyl Kruchak and Oleksandr Baraboshko fabricated a story about Varchenko’s husband accusing him of sexual harassment. For still unclear reasons, the criminal investigation opened against Petrov soon stalled.
One of his TV channels is now led by his affiliate Serhii Ivanov who hosts TV shows for Petrov-owned ‘Islandiya’ YouTube channel. Earlier this year, Ivanov was named by Zelensky aide Mykhaylo Podoliak as a member of the ‘presidential pool of bloggers’ recruited for ‘positive’ coverage of governmental policies.
As a ‘political consultant’, Petrov has been hired by different Ukrainian politicians, He came under scrutiny back in 2009 after he was caught posting in Arsenii Yatseniuk’s social media account. He was also behind the smear campaign against Oleksii Honcharenko commissioned by a rival politician in Odesa and took some flak for bringing in Oleksandr Chalenko as an editor-in-chief of his Revizor news outlet despite his pointed anti-Ukrainian rhetoric and support of
Earlier this year, Petrov joined the smear campaign targeting Bukvy media outlet. In a video on YouTube channel ‘Islandiya’ on Novemeber 24, Petrov said ‘Bukvy’ project will be closed’, and, a few days later, he posted a provocative statement on social media claiming ‘Bukvy’ journalists should quit not to ‘be impacted in their future professional career’, which came as a clear threat and ‘preclusion of professional activities of journalists’ under art.171 of Ukraine’s Criminal code.