The decision made by the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to extend the 2015-2016 sanctions against Russia and to adopt new restrictions against individuals and companies came into effect as of May 15. Kiev’s “black lists” have been considerably expanded to 1,228 people, with Russian citizens making up the overwhelming majority, as well as 468 companies, most of them Russian too.
For the first time ever, Kiev has approved sanctions against Russian-language online resources that are very popular in Ukraine, such as Yandex, Yandex.Ukraine and Mail.ru, as well as social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. The sanctions also include cybersecurity and anti-virus providers Kaspersky Lab and Doctor Web, which looks really strange against the backdrop of the recent hacking attacks around the world, and several Russian media outlets.
Ukrainian authorities' flagrant disregard for international law and morality and its own commitments to human rights and freedoms have become a fact of life. Fearing the smallest signs of dissent, Kiev is rapidly moving toward establishing an authoritarian state that is clamping down on freedom of the press and free access to information.
This is hardly in keeping with European and global principles and the values of a civil society. On the other hand, Kiev probably has its own interpretation of global civilisation based on universal values. Obviously eager to finalise its mythical 'divorce from the Russian Empire,' as President Poroshenko said the other day, and hence from centuries of its own history, Kiev will put blinkers on people’s eyes and plugs in their ears to prevent them from getting a picture of the situation in Ukraine and other countries that differs from the one provided by Ukrainian propagandists.
It would be interesting to see how our Western partners, who are so closely concerned about democracy and information security, would react to this brazen disregard for universal international standards and obligations.