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Extremists block pro-Russia TV station with barbed wire

President Petro Poroshenko condemned “pressure on the media,” but showed sympathy on Facebook for a “reaction by society” to the Russia-friendly TV station.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko condemned “pressure on the media,” but showed sympathy on Facebook for a “reaction by society” to the Russia-friendly TV station.

A pro-Russia separatist movement sprang up in the east of the former Soviet republic in reaction to the 2013-14 Euromaidan uprising, in which protesters demanded Ukraine minimise ties to Russia and orient itself toward the West.

Since then, Russia has annexed the region of Crimea from Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels have been fighting a years-long war in the eastern provinces of the country.

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Broadcasting at NewsONE wasn’t interrupted due to Monday’s blockade.

The protest had begun in the late morning after the TV station showed a demonstration by supporters of former Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has called for the removal of Poroshenko from office.

Russia-connected former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in February 2014, clearing the way for Poroshenko’s pro-Western regime.

The demonstrators outside NewsONE, said Monday’s demonstration was elicited by comments from the broadcaster’s owner, who had called the toppling of Yanukovych’s government a coup.

Activists in Ukraine have taken measures to hinder pro-Russia media in the country, including using violence against the newspaper Vesti.

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In April 2015, pro-Russia journalist Oles Buzina was shot in front of his house.

In September 2016, an editorial building of the broadcaster Inter was set on fire.

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