On Monday, city officials first barred
reporters from entering their offices in the Odessa Television and
Perevalova said critical reporting on corruption in the city administration and its poor financial policies have prompted official retaliation ahead of the 2010 mayoral and presidential elections.
According to Perevalova, independent radio stations Moyo Radio, Novaya Volna, and Pervoe Radio FM-1 are still off air, while television channels Grad, Art, and Art-24 broadcast from a single newsroom powered by a generator. On Thursday, city officials ordered workers to erect a fence around the building, started repairing its roof, and barred Perevalova from visiting her colleagues, she said.
Anatoly Balinov, the executive director of Grad TV, told CPJ
that city officials have been unsuccessfully trying to evict the broadcasters
from the building since last summer. The city’s lease to the broadcasters is up
in 2021. In late October, the Odessa Public Utility Service ordered them to
leave its premises by November 15 for an unspecified period, saying there would
be renovation of the building’s roof, Balinov said. Balinov and his colleagues
contested the eviction order in the
“The only reason for the eviction of six broadcasters is their independence from the city mayor and their critique of his policies ahead of the 2010 elections,” Balinov told CPJ. The building and its roof were in a good condition, and the last time construction workers fixed the roof in 2008 nobody had to leave the building, Balinov said.