PEN Ukraine Statement on Closure of Kyiv Post

PEN Ukraine Statement on Closure of Kyiv Post

Members of PEN Ukraine – journalists, writers, translators, human rights activists, publishers, scholars – are concerned over the closure of the Kyiv Post, a Ukrainian English-language newspaper.

The Kyiv Post was first issued in Ukraine 26 years ago. Throughout the years it was the source of news about Ukraine for embassy employees, expats, the English-speaking environment, and the international community.

On November 8, the website published a notice saying that the newspaper is closing "for a short time" and is likely to reopen in future. It came as a surprise even for the Kyiv Post journalists who found out about their dismissal in the morning of November 8. In a joint statement issued by the newsroom, journalists claim that in this manner the owner of the Kyiv Post and the Odesa-based real estate developer Adnan Kivan is "getting rid of inconvenient, fair and honest journalists." They consider the dismissal of the paper’s staff to be Kivan’s act of vengeance for the staff’s attempt to save the editorial independence.

Adnan Kivan has been the owner of the Kyiv Post since 2018. The former Kyiv Post editor Tamara Istomin said the conflict between Kivan and the staff began due to the owner’s will to influence the paper’s editorial policy and control the staff’s operations. On October 14, 2021 Kivan’s media manager Olena Rotari, without informing the Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner, announced the launching of the Ukrainian-language Kyiv Post. Moreover, Istomina stated that Ukrainian authorities exerted pressure on Kivan on account of critical coverage regarding top officials.

For his part, Adnan Kivan announced plans to reorganize the Kyiv Post and relaunch it in a month, but with a new team. However, the newspaper’s journalists consider that under such circumstances the owner will be interfering with the editorial policy of the new media.

Ambassadors of the EU, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden have already reacted to the shutting down of the Kyiv Post.

PEN Ukraine sees grave danger in shutting down or depriving of independence the reputable English-language media outlet about Ukraine. We support the Kyiv Post editorial staff and consistently advocate freedom of speech and protection of media employees from pressure of owners and authorities. In addition, we support the demands of the staff – that is, to restore the operation of the independent editorial office of the Kyiv Post in its entirety, or sell the Kyiv Post, or hand over the Kyiv Post trademark to the newsroom.

The statement subscribers (the list is being updated):

1. Myroslav Marynovych, publicist, Honorary President of PEN Ukraine
2. Andriy Kurkov, writer, President of PEN Ukraine
3. Volodymyr Yermolenko, philosopher, journalist, writer
4. Petro Yatsenko, writer
5. Oksana Mamchenkova, journalist, Project Coordinator at PEN Ukraine
6. Halyna Vdovychenko, writer
7. Pavlo Korobchuk, writer
8. Tetyana Teren, journalist, Executive Director of PEN Ukraine
9. Ostap Slyvynsky, writer, Vice President of PEN Ukraine
10. Constantin Sigov, philosopher, publisher
11. Petro Rykhlo, professor of the Yuri Fedkovych National University in Chernivtsi, literary scholar, translator
12. Vasyl Makhno, writer
13. Volodymyr Rafeenko, writer, literary scholar
14. Kateryna Mikhalitsyna, writer, translator, editor
15. Taras Luchuk, translator
16. Oleksiy Sinchenko, literary scholar
17. Larysa Denysenko, writer, journalist, human rights defender
18. Illarion Pavliuk, writer
19. Julia Musakovska, poestess, translator, marketing and communications expert
20. Halya Coynash, journalist
21. Vitaly Chernetsky, professor, literary scholar, translator
22. Yevhen Zakharov, human rights defender
23. Borys Khersonskyi, poet, translator, clinical psychologist, Rector of the Kyiv Institute of Modern Psychology and Psychotherapy
24. Victoria Amelina, writer
25. Iryna Shuvalova, poetess, translator, scholar, education consultant
26. Sofia Cheliak, culture manager, translator
27. Halyna Kruk, writer, literary scholar
28. Igor Kozlovskyy, historian, religious scholar, writer
29. Svitlana Povaliaieva, writer
29. Ola Hnatiuk, professor of the University of Warsaw and NaUKMA, Vice President of PEN Ukraine
30. Iya Kiva, poetess, translator, journalist
31. Stepan Protsiuk, writer
32. Alim Aliev, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian Institute
33. Artem Chapai, writer, journalist
34. Myroslava Barchuk, journalist, TV presenter
35. Kateryna Botanova, critic, curator
36. Oleksandr Vilchynskyi, writer, journalist
37. Anna Vovchenko, translator
38. Olena Styazhkina, historian, writer
39. Oles Ilchenko, writer
40. Maria Tytarenko, media researcher, member of Fulbright Ukraine, essayist
41. Iryna Vikyrchak, culture manager, poetess
42. Tetyana Ogarkova, literary scholar, journalist
43. Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan of UGCC in the USA, President of Ukrainian Catholic University
44. Natalka Sniadanko, writer, translator
45. Olha Luchuk, literary scholar
46. Tamara Hundorova, professor, corresponding member of the NAS of Ukraine
47. Mykola Riabchuk, writer and publicist
48. Vakhtang Kebuladze, philosopher, publicist, translator
49. Yuri Matevoshchuk, translator and manager
50. Anatoliy Dnistrovyi, writer
51. Volodymyr Kazarin, professor of the V.I. Vernadskyi Taurida National University

Photo credit: Anna Myroniuk / Facebook

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November 9, 2021
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