BBG Watch Exclusive
The Voice of America (VOA) English news website and the vast majority of VOA’s more than 40 language services have not reported yet (8:00PM ET, Jan. 17) on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s strong condemnation today of anti-democratic legislation passed yesterday by the Ukrainian Parliament and signed today by Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych.
Secretary Kerry made his remarks on Ukraine today more than eight hours ago.
As of 8:00 PM ET Friday, the VOA Ukrainian Service appears to be the only one reporting on its website about Secretary Kerry’s remarks and the signing of the anti-protest law by President Yanukovych.
Not even VOA’s Russian Service website has the latest news from Ukraine or a report on Secretary Kerry’s remarks.
The Russian Service was a day late in reporting on an earlier State Department statement on Ukraine. Nearly all other, more than 40, VOA language services — even those that provide news to countries without free media — had nothing or close to nothing on U.S. expressions of deep concern over undemocratic actions taken by the Ukrainian parliament and the Ukrainian government.
The VOA English website still shows two reports from Reuters with outdated information that the law still has to be signed by Ukraine’s President. These reports from Reuters make no mention of Secretary Kerry’s remarks on Ukraine.
Rather than providing fresh news and reporting on U.S. reactions, VOA English website highlights on its “Europe News” page by now outdated Reuters report “Ukraine Rebukes West for Criticism of Anti-protest Law“. The VOA English website page also show an even older and even more outdated report from Reuters from yesterday, “Ukrainian Parliament Pushes Through Sweeping Anti-protest Law,” which has no references to any U.S. reactions.
A few hours earlier, BBC has reported on Secretary Kerry’s remarks today on Ukraine and had a headline on the signing of the controversial law by President Yanukovych listed on its homepage as one of the top news stories.
BBC reported: “Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed into law a bill aimed at curbing anti-government protests.”
BBC also reported on Secretary Kerry’s remarks earlier today:
“We believe deeply that the people of Ukraine want to affiliate and want to be associated with Europe and they want to turn in that direction,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.
“And the steps that were taken yesterday are anti-democratic. They’re wrong. They are taking from the people of Ukraine their choice and their opportunity for the future.”
BBC report also had a link to an earlier statement by the U.S. State Department on the situation in Ukraine.
Thursday, the VOA English website and almost all VOA language services failed to report on a statement by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki who expressed “deep concern” over the passage of the controversial Ukrainian law designed to restrict public protests, free speech, independent media, and activities of non-governmental organizations.
Remarks of Secretary of State John Kerry, Jan. 17, on Yesterday’s Events in Ukraine
Secretary of State John Kerry commented on yesterday’s events in Ukraine before hіs meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Washington, D.C., January 17.
Державний секретар США Джон Керрі прокоментував учорашні події в Україні перед своєю зустріччю із міністром закордонних справ Греції Євангелосом Венізелосом 17 січня у Вашингтоні.
FULL TRANSCRIPT — SECRETARY KERRY ON UKRAINE from Kerry, Greek Foreign Minister Venizelos Before Their Meeting, January 17, 2014
SECRETARY KERRY: “I do want to say one word quickly about the events that took place yesterday in Ukraine. The legislation that was rammed through the Rada without transparency and accountability violates all the norms of the OSCE and the EU. We believe deeply that the people of Ukraine want to affiliate and want to be associated with Europe and they want to turn in that direction. And the steps that were taken yesterday are anti-democratic, they’re wrong, they are taking from the people of Ukraine their choice and their opportunity for the future. So we will continue to stay focused on this issue, but this kind of anti-democratic maneuver is extremely disturbing and should be a concern to every nation that wants to see the people of Ukraine be able to not only express their wish but see it executed through the political process.”