Insider’s guide to who owns Ukrainian news media

Читати цю статтю українською мовою.

Editor’s Note: The following is a list of who owns the largest TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and online news websites compiled by Insider. The original story is here: http://www.theinsider.ua/infographics/2014/2015_smi/vlasnyky.html. The Kyiv Post has translated the information and added its own for context and background. The material is reprinted with Insider’s permission. Their sources include The National Council on Television and Radio, the Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs and other open sources. In some cases, the real owners of publishing houses, TV channels and radio stations differ from the registered ones.

Translation by Yuliana Romanyshyn.

See also: No Revolution Here As News Media in Ukraine Remain In Same Hands

In sheer quantity, Ukrainian news consumers have lots of choices.

However, the majority of Ukrainian media outlets are unprofitable and sponsored by financial, industrial or political groups, with only a small segment of the industry trying to survive or become self-sustaining through advertising and subscription revenues alone.

Consequently, the lack of resources leaves many outlets at the mercy of their owners, who often dictate coverage in their outlets and disregard the principle of editorial independence. The lack of money, in other cases, prompts journalists to adopt unethical practices, such as finding patrons to pay for tailor-made stories or disguising advertising as news.

The public, therefore,has a strong interest in knowing who owns media in Ukraine and what policies they pursue on the news pages.

Serhiy Kurchenko, Ukraine Media Holding

The owner is Serhiy Kurchenko, the fugitive former alleged front man for ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Despite being in exile on charges of embezzlement, Kurchenko’s media empire goes on.
Ukraine Media Holding remains one of the largest holdings, owning and operating online editions, radio, newspapers and magazines. UMH includes such sites and magazines as Forbes, Korrespondent, Bigmir.net, I.ua, Tochka.net, and Football.ua. The holding company publishes the newspapers: Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraini, Arguments and Facts, Telenedelia and the Football magazine.

UMH operates five radio stations: Autoradio, Nashe Radio, Europa Plus, Retro FM, and Friday Radio. It also manages three local radio stations: Lounge FM, Holos Stolytsi (Voice of the Capital) and Jam FM.

Kurchenko became the owner of UMH Group in 2013, acquiring it from Boris Lozhkin, who currently is the chief of staff for President Petro Poroshenko’s administration. Lozhkin and Poroshenko were also partners at the Korrespondent magazine.

The acquisition agreement of UMH was financed by bank lenders, which, among others, was state-owned Ukreximbank. As it became known in 2015, this state-run bank issued a loan of $160 million for buying the media holding company.

In 2015, American publishing house Forbes prohibited UMH to use the brand. After that, the magazine’s website was transferred to a new domain Forbes.net.ua. The magazine continues to be published.

Ownership of a second international brand – Vogue – passed from UMH to Media Group Ukraine owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov.


Billionaire Rinat Akhmetov talks with activists who protested outside his residence in Donetsk on Dec. 31, 2013, during the EuroMaidan Revolution. (UNIAN)

Rinat Akhmetov, Media Group Ukraine

The holding company Media Group Ukraine is owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest person, and unites TV channels, websites and print media. They feature regional media and broadcasting in industrial cities where Akhmetov’s System Capital Management plants are located.

In particular, the Media Group Ukraine consists of national TV channel Ukraine, cable channels NLO TV and Indigo, and Football 1 and Football 2 sports channels. Besides them, regional Channel 34 (in Dnipropetrovsk), Donbas (Donetsk) and Sigma (Mariupol) are also a part of this group.

Akhmetov’s print media group is called Segodnya Multimedia. The main publication is daily newspaper and website Segodnya. Other media in this group are the magazine and website Vogue, TV guide RIO, social and political weekly edition Donetsk News, political newspaper Pryazovskiy Rabochiy, and Dom Sovetov.

Among online media, Akhmetov owns: Segodnya (Segodnya.ua), Vecherniy Donetsk (Vecherka.donetsk.ua), Gorod (Gorod.dp.ua), Priazovskiy Rabochiy (Pr.ua) and Donetsk News (Dnews.donetsk.ua).

Akhmetov’s holding company also includes online service Oll.tv, the subscription website with movies, TV shows, and TV series.

Dmytro Firtash/Sergiy Lyovochkin
Inter Media Group

The main asset of the Dmytro Firtash and Sergiy Lyovochkin holding is the national Ukrainian TV channel Inter. In addition, the group includes a number of niche channels such as NTN, Mega, K1, K2, Enter Film, and children’s channel Piksel.

Lyovochkin, the former chief of staff to ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, is a lawmaker from the Opposition Bloc. Firtash is in Vienna, where he was arrested in 2014 on a U.S. warrant charging him with bribery – charges he denies. Subsequently let free, if he returns from exile, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry has said he will be arrested.

Inter TV Channel owns news agency Podrobnosti, which prepares news releases for the channel and develops its own website, Podrobnosti.ua. Among online media, Firtash and Lyovochkin are owners of Ukrainian News website (Un.ua). News website Ukranews.com and photo website Ukrafoto.com.

Victor Pinchuk
StarLightMedia

Victor Pinchuk, the son-in-law of ex-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, owns six television channels under the StarLightMedia holding. One feature of Pinchuk’s media empire is the emphasis on entertainment content. His holding company includes such TV channels as STB, ICTV, Novy Kanal, music channel M1 and M2, and broadcasting cartoons QTV Channel. The holding owns the production of TV shows for the channels of the group and an advertising sales house.

A TSN cameraman of the 1+1 TV channel shoots video of the monument to World War II hero Zoya Kosmodemyanska in Kyiv on Dec. 18, 2010. (UNIAN)

Igor Kolomoisky/Gennadiy Bogolyubov
1+1 Media

Eight TV channels belong to the Privat media holding group of oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov. The most valuable is national channel 1+1. In addition, the 1+1 Media includes 2+2, TET, PlusPlus, 1+1 International, Bigudi Channel for women, TV Channel of the news agency UNIAN, and foreign broadcaster Ukraine Today. Among online media, Kolomoisky owns the news agency UNIAN, website Tsn.ua and Glavred.info.

Press and online media

Olena Prytula
Ukrainska Pravda

The outlet combines several different content websites: economy, history, European integration, life, lifestyle and tabloid. Olena Prytula is the owner, co-founder and former chief editor.

“I share their moral values and am always ready to help them. But not with money,” Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin said in an interview to the magazine Novoe Vremya. The editorial staff of Ukrainska Pravda rents an office in a building owned by Grigorishin.

Group of journalists
Hromadske TV

The Internet television and news website was created in 2013 by a group of journalists on the eve of the EuroMaidan Revolution that prompted President Viktor Yanukovych to flee power two years ago. It survives on grants. The founders of the non-governmental organization Hromadske Television are Serhiy Andrushko, Yulia Bankova, Andrii Bashtovyi, Roman Vintoniv, Dmytro Gnap, Mustafa Nayyem, Roman Skrypin and Danylo Yanevsky. The editorial staff rents an office owned by Russian oligarch Konstantin Grigorishin.

Serhiy Kurchenko
Forbes.net.ua

The site had previously worked on the domain Forbes.ua. However, American Forbes took away the license of Serhiy Kurchenko, the fugitive owner of Ukrainian Media Holding.

Yuriy and Rostyslav Brodsky
Obozrevatel

Obozrevatel website belongs to the children of businessman Mykhailo Brodsky. He is the owner of Veneto mattress manufacturing. Brodsky is an ally of Igor Kolomoisky.

Sergiy, Maryna and Dmytro Bondarenko,Volodymyr Yehipko
LigaBiznesInform

LigaBiznesInform is a part of a group of companies Liga, which provides legal and information services in the legal and accounting fields. In particular, the group owns the Law League system, a database of legislation of Ukraine.

Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty
Radio Liberty

RFE/RL Ukraine is a branch of an international media organization funded by the U.S. Congress. The Ukrainian online edition publishes news, reports, analytical stories and investigations. Radio Liberty produces the investigation TV show Schemes.

Igor Kolomoisky
UNIAN

UNIAN is the oldest news agency in Ukraine. Today, the news agency, press center, photo service and television of the same name are based at UNIAN.

Serhiy Kurchenko
Korrespondent

Until it was sold to Ukrainian Media Holding by President Petro Poroshenko’s chief of staff Boris Lozhkin, Korrespondent website and magazine were among the most popular news outlets in Ukraine.

Yulia, Oleksiy and Volodymyr Mostovyi
Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Mirror of the Week)

Dzerkalo Tyzhnia is one of the oldest analytical news organizatins in Ukraine. The newspaper is a weekly. Its owner and editor-in-chief is Yulia Mostova, the wife of politician and ex-Defense Minister Anatoliy Grytsenko.

Rinat Akhmetov
Segodnya

Daily newspaper and website Segodnya is a member of the Media Group Ukraine, owned by billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. Vesti newspaper, which until recently was distributed for free near metro stations, is a competitor.

Ukrainian businessman Dmitro Firtash listens while attending the Ukraine Tomorrow forum in Vienna on March 3. (Ukrafoto)

Free Information Agency
Censor.net

Yuriy Butusov, a journalist, blogger and activist, is the chief editor of the website. The owner of the edition is Agenstvo Vilnoi Informatsii, or Free Information Agency, a non-profit organization. It was founded by Ilona Yanko and Olena Baida. Yanko is an aide to a lawmaker from Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front Party, Ruslan Lukianchuk, while Baida was the authorized person from the People’s Front at the parliamentary elections in 2014.

Gorshenin Institute
Levyi Bereg

Journalist Sonia Koshkina is the chief editor of Lb.ua website. In addition to website management, Gorshenin Institute holds conferences and roundtables, and provides an advisory service to politicians. Gorshenin Institute was founded by Vadym Omelchenko, Ksenia Vasylenko (real name of Sonya Koshkina), Oleksiy Leshchenko, and Viktor Sokolov.

Oleksiy Tamrazov
Insider

The website Theinsider.ua was launched by journalist Sergiy Shcherbyna in 2013. Limited liability company Ukrainian Media Group is the owner of the website. Businessman Oleksiy Tamrazov is an investor of the company. In 2010-2014 years, he was the first deputy chairman of the state-owned public joint stock company UkrGasVydobuvannya. Insider announced it will close on Feb. 1.

Boris Kaufman
Focus

Odesa businessman Boris Kaufman bought the weekly magazine and website Focus from Boris Lozhkin, President Petro Poroshenko’s chief of staff, in 2013. Kaufman is a founder of the investment company Vertex United, which manages such hotels as Bristol, Londonskaya, and President Hotel. The magazine and online media Focus.ua are media assets of the Vertex United Company.

Plenty of voices, but many are not independent ones

Sherell Limited
Comments.ua

Comments.ua online media was sold by businessman Vitaliy Haiduk in 2013, when Serhiy Kurchenko and other allies of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych actively absorbed the media firm. Today, the ultimate owner of the edition is unknown.

Roman Vavrysh
Gazeta.ua

The website Gazeta.ua and the magazine Kraina (Country) are members of LLC Publishing Group New Information, which belongs to Roman Vavrysh, an ally of the politician Ihor Vasyunyk.

Roman Vavrysh
Kraina magazine

Gazeta.ua website and Kraina magazine are a part of LLC Publishing Group New information, which belongs to Roman Vavrysh, an ally of politician Ihor Vasyunyk.

Tomas Fiala
Novoye Vremya

Novoye Vremya magazine was created after presidential chief of staff Boris Lozhkin sold Ukrainian Media Holding, which included Korrespondent magazine. This magazine was headed by Vitaly Sych, who quit after the sale because of restrictions on editorial independence. He launched Novoye Vremya with a substantial contingent of journalists from Korrespondent magazine. The investment company Dragon Capital, owned by Tomas Fiala, is the financial backer.

A woman places her order at a news kiosk on Jan. 13 in Kyiv. (Volodymyr Petrov)

Yuliya Lymar, Viktor Shlinchak
Glavcom.ua

Before founding Glavcom.ua, Yuliya Lymar and Viktor Shlinchak had worked in senior positions at Glavred Media Holding, funded by Igor Kolomoisky. Glavcom’s source of funding is unknown.

Sergiy Kurchenko
Komsomolskaya Pravda

Komsomolskaya Pravda is a part of Ukrainian Media Holding.

Joint stock company Kartel
Depo

JSC

Kartel has united Vlast Deneg, Delovaya Stolitsa, and Depo website. The owners of Kartel were Vagid Alekperov and Leonid Fedun, co-owners of Russian Lukoil Oil Company. In 2014, the holding was sold to Vadym Denysenko, a member of parliament from President Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc. According to Hubs online media, the agricultural magnate Oleg Bakhmatyuk might be an investor of Kartel.

Kateryna Kit-Sadova
Zahid.net

The popular western Ukrainian outlet belongs to Kateryna Kit-Sadova, wife of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi. Zahid.net is a part of Sadovyi media holding – Lux Radio Station. It also includes 24 TV Channel, Lux FM Radio, Radio 24, Football24.ua website and Lux advertising agency.

Oleksandr Martynenko, Tevana Global Limited (British Virgin Islands)
Interfax-Ukraine Information Agency

Interfax-Ukraine is one of the three news agencies in Ukraine, selling their content to subscribers. Its head and co-owner is Oleksandr Martynenko, a former press secretary for ex-President Leonid Kuchma. Another shareholder is British Virgin Islands offshore company Tevana Global Limited. The beneficial owner is unknown.

Ukrainian Ministry of Information Policy
Ukrinform

Ukrinform is a state-owned news agency. A multimedia foreign broadcasting platform was launched by Ukrinform.

Dmytro Firtash
Ukrainian News Agency

Ukrainian News is a member of the Inter Media Group of Dmytro Firtash and Sergiy Lyovochkin.

Uliana Lozan
UNN

Previously, UNN was linked to ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s ally Hanna Herman. Today, it officially belongs to the editor-in-chief, Uliana Lozan. With Anastasia Matsalo, they also own LLC Ukrainian Independent News Information Agency. The source of financing is unknown.

Alfred Wilhelm Mallmann, Yuri Makarov
Tizhden (Week)

The magazine and the website belong to LLC Ukrainskiy Tizhden. The owners of the company are journalist Yuri Makarov and Austrian citizen Alfred Wilhelm Mallmann.

Borys and Mikhailo Komissaruk, Olha Hrach
Ukr.net

Ukr.net website is the largest news aggregator in Ukraine. In addition to advertising, it earns money by selling traffic to other Ukrainian media. Ukr.net belongs to Borys and Mikhailo Komissaruk and Olha Hrach. They also own Familnyi Bank.

Yosyp Pintus
RBC Ukraine

Previously, RBC Ukraine worked through the Russian RBC license. Today, the news outlet belongs to RBC Media Company. Yosyp Pintus is general director and owner.

Oleksandr Klymenko
Vesti

Vesti Holding unites a daily newspaper, Vesti radio and Reporter magazine, which stopped issuing print copies in 2015. The owner of the holding company is Ilya Hayevoi, a co-founder of the NGO Vidnovlennia Donbasu (Donbas Restoration). The website of the Ex-minister of Revenues and Duties Oleksandr Klymenko says that exactly he is a founder of NGO Vidnovlennia Donbasu.

Mykola Koman, Ihor Pochynok
Expres

Lviv newspaper Expres is one of the oldest newspapers in Ukraine. It has been published since 1992. The newspaper is known for its investigations against the sponsor of Svoboda political party Ihor Kryvetskiy and his ties with the criminal world.

Petro Dyminskyi
Zik

Information agency Zik.ua was founded in 2003. According to Nashi Groshi investigation website, Zik came under the control of the president Karpaty football club Petro Dyminskyi. In addition to Zik.ua website, the holding has a TV channel.

Yuriy Nikolov, Oleksa and Olga Shalayskiy
Nashi Groshi

Nashi Groshi website specializes in anti-corruption investigations in public procurement. It is funded by grants from international organizations.

Russian government
RIA Novosti Ukraine

The Ukrainian unit is part of Russian state agency RIA Novosti in Ukraine.

Mohammad Zahoor
Kyiv Post

Kyiv Post is the only English-language newspaper in Ukraine. The owner is British citizen and Pakistani native Mohammad Zahoor, the husband of singer-actress Kamaliya. His ISTIL Group invests in media, real estate, energy and hotel businesses. The publisher’s policy is editorial independence of journalists; the newspaper’s editorials have historically supported democracy, Western integration and free markets.

No dominant or international news outlets exist in Ukraine

Vitaliy Haiduk
Day newspaper

Vitaliy Haiduk is a former shareholder of Industrial Union of Donbas and an ally of ex-Prme Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Haiduk financed Comments.ua media, which he sold in 2013.

British Broadcasting Corporation
BBC Ukraine

BBC Ukraine is a Ukrainian website of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

German government
Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle is a German state radio station and TV channel, which broadcasts to other countries. It has a Ukrainian version of the website and the editorial office is in Bonn, employing Ukrainian journalists.

Television channels

Igor Kolomoisky
1+1

The 1+1 channel is a flagship asset of billionaire oligarch Igor Kolomoisky’s media holding. In addition, 1+1 Media includes 2+2, TET, PlusPlus, 1+1 International, Bigudi Channel for women, TV Channel of the news agency UNIAN, and broadcasting abroad Ukraine Today.

President Petro Poroshenko
5 Kanal (Channel 5)

After his inauguration in 2014, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he will not sell the station.

Dmytro Firtash and Sergiy Lyovochkin
Inter

The TV channel Inter is a part of the Dmytro Firtash-Serhiy Lyovochkin holding and its main asset. It includes a number of other channels: NTN, Mega, K1, K2, Enter Film, and Pixel.

Victor Pinchuk (C) speaks with the participants of the 11th annual Yalta European Strategy conference on Sept. 10, 2014. (Volodymyr Petrov)

Rinat Akhmetov
Ukraina (Ukraine)

The TV channel Ukraina belongs to billionaire Rinat Akhmetov’s holding. It includes NLO TV, Indigo, Eskulap TV, Football 1 and Football 2 sports channels.

Victor Pinchuk
Novy Kanal

Novy Kanal is a part of StarLightMedia holding of Viktor Pinchuk. Oligarch’s holding also includes such channels as STB, ICTV, music channel M1 and M2, and QTV.

Ukrainian government
Pershyi

The public broadcasting station is based on Pershyi Natsionalnyi TV Channel.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s family
Channel 24

Channel 24 is part of Lux Radio Station holding, owned by Kateryna Kit-Sadova, the wife of Lyiv Mayor Andriy Sadvovyi.

Andriy Podshchypkov
112 Ukraine

Channel 112 Ukraine was launched on the eve of the EuroMaidan Revolution, when it was assumed to be owned by fugitive ex-Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko under ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. The official owner of the channel is Andriy Podshchypkov, an ally of lawmaker Serhiy Kaplin.

Larysa Knyazhytska, Vadym Denysenko
Espreso TV

The channel is controlled by the lawmakers Vadym Denysenko (President Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc) and Mykola Knyazhytsky (People’s Front).

Peter Zika (Cyprus)
Tonis

The end beneficiary of the channel is Petr Zika of the Czech Republic. It is registered in Cyprus. The source of financing is unknown. Previously, it was in ownership of Volodymyr Kosterin. He was dispossessed of the channel by the Yanukovych family, he told the Hubs online media in 2014.

Esparon Sandra Jean (Seychelles)
Business Channel

Business Channel belonged to businessman Ruslan Demchak. In 2013, it became known that the TV channel and other media assets were sold to the Yanukovych family.

Yevgen Murayev
NewsOne

NewsOne Channel belonged to Vadym Rabinovich, who is now a member of parliament from the Opposition Bloc. In 2014, he sold the channel to another member of his party, Yevhen Muraev.

Radio Stations

Anatoly and Yevgeniy Yevtukhov
Business Radio Group

The Business Radio Group includes such radio stations as Shanson, DJFM, Lyubimoe Radio, and Business FM. They estimate their market share as 15 percent.

Nikolay Bagraev
Tavr Media Radio Group

Tavr Media Radio Group includes six major national radio stations: Kiss FM, Russkoye Radio, Hit FM, Radio Melodia, Radio Roks, and Radio Relax. Tavr Media occupies almost 30 percent of the radio market in Ukraine. Nikolay Bagraev was a lawmaker when ex-President Viktor Yanukovych was in power. He is a founder of Tavria Games music festival.

Serhiy Kurchenko
UMH Radio Group

Eight radio stations are included in the Serhiy Kurchenko’s media holding: Retro FM, Europa Plus, Nashe radio, Holos Stolytsi (Voice of the Capital), Jam FM, Lounge FM, Avtoradio, and Radio Pyatnica. The UMH radio group market share is around 25 percent.

RadioCorp Holding
Yevropeyska Stantsiya (European Station)

Radio Yevropeyska Stantsiya is the new name of Gala Radio. It changed its name and owners last year. The new investor is RadioCorp Holding, a Dutch company which runs several radio stations and media in Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria and other countries. The previous owner was American businessman Joseph Lemir.

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s family
Lux FM

Lux FM is included in the Lux media holding owned by Kateryna Kit-Sadova, the wife of the Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi.

Andriy Karpiy
Perets FM (Pepper FM)

Andriy Karpiy is a former partner of Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi on Lux FM. In 2014, Karpiy sold four radio stations that broadcast in 27 cities to Ihor Huzhva, which owned Vesti Radio at that time.

Oleksandr Klymenko
Vesti Radio

Vesti Radio is included in the Olexandr Klymenko’s Vesti media holding. He is an exiled ex-minister of revenue and duties under former President Viktor Yanukovych.

Andriy Derkach
Era Radio

The owner of Era Radio, Andriy Derkach was a lawmaker with the formerruling Party of Regions under ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.

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