Ukraine profile

Television dominates the media scene; many outlets are privately-owned.

August 2010 protest in Kiev in support of private TV networks TVi and Channel 5 Protest in support of private network TVi, which lost its terrestrial frequencies in 2010

Commercial networks, particularly Inter TV and 1+1, attract the biggest audiences. The FM band in Kiev is home to more than 20 radio stations.

Many newspapers have Ukrainian and Russian-language editions. Several mass-market tabloids publish only in Russian.

Conditions for the media have worsened since Viktor Yanukovych became president in 2010, says US-based Freedom House. It says business figures with political interests own and influence many outlets, while the state is a major player in national and regional TV. Journalists face the threat of violence.

Ahead of parliamentary elections in 2012, watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said independent media were facing "harassment, including constant intimidation, raids and prosecutions".

RSF cites the case of pro-opposition TVi, which lost its terrestrial frequencies in 2010 and has faced pressure from tax officials. It underwent a sudden change of ownership in 2013.

There were 15.3 million internet users by December 2011 (Internetworldstats). Access is unrestricted, says Freedom House. The web is a popular news source, with more than a dozen leading sites - neutral, pro-opposition and pro-government.

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