The ATR channel, whose audience were mostly Crimean Tatars, stopped its broadcast in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. The channel did not get registered as the mass media outlet of the Russian Federation.
Together with ATR stopped the broadcasts of the television for children Lyalye, as well as the radio station Meidan, Lider and the website 15 Minutes.
The ATR channel administration argues that they sent registration documents to Rozkomnadzor several times, but each time they got rejected. The deadline for registration ended on 1 April.
The Russian authorities in Crimea insist that the case is not political in any way, and if there was, it was on the side of the TV channel administration, which specifically let the case reach the point when the issuance of a broadcast permit was impossible and accused the ATR of inappropriate political affinities.
“Roskomnadzor sent the documents back for revision. Perhaps we are dealing with a deliberate creation of a precedent just to cause a scandal, an error, due to which Roskomnadzor returns the documents and the protection of the interests of Ukraine in Crimea is futile. No need to bother people saying that Crimea would ever return to Ukraine,” said the ‘prime minister’ of the Crimea Sergey Aksenov appointed by Russians.
The ATR audience were mainly Crimean Tatars with 60% of airtime held in Russian, 35% – in the Crimean Tatar language and 5% – in Ukrainian.
On the last night, channel asministration appeared in the studio. Their audience goodbies were optimistic : “We’ll be back. We always are!”