Aggressor state’s media services

Decision No 382 “On Approval of Regulation on the List of Aggressor State On-Demand Audiovisual Media Services and Services of Audiovisual Service Providers”

June 8, 2023

National Broadcasting Council of Ukraine (NBC)

June 8, 2023

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Blocking of the aggressor state on-demand audiovisual media services and restriction of Russian linear TV channels retransmission by online services

Restrictions decreased the consumption of Russian content and closed the existing loopholes which allowed the broadcasting of Russian channels even during the full-scale invasion

Act’s description and legal basis

NBC’s decision is grounded in the Law on Media restrictions, which are specific to the ongoing aggression and contained in Section IX of the Law. Article 123 requires the Council to create and regularly update the List of Aggressor State On-Demand Audiovisual Media Services and Services of Audiovisual Service Providers (hereinafter – the List). Aiming to counter Russian propaganda and anti-Ukrainian narratives widely disseminated by Russian media and in Russia-created content, the primary objective of the List is to prohibit and limit the circulation of information disseminated by media services affiliated with the aggressor state on the Internet.

According to the Decision, which mirrors the provisions of the Law, the media service is included in the List if one of the following conditions is present:

  1. the service is owned by a citizen of the aggressor state or a legal person domiciled therein;
  2. the ultimate beneficial owner, key participant, or owner of a substantial stake at any level of the corporate rights chain of a legal person delivering the service is an aggressor state citizen or a legal person domiciled therein;
  3. the service is completely or predominantly targeting the territory and audience of the aggressor state.

Under the Decision, a service is considered to be targeting the aggressor state if it meets 3 or more origin- and content-related criteria, among which are:

  1. usage of the services with the aggressor state’s geographical domains;
  2. usage of the aggressor state’s language as the default language;
  3. inclusion of the service in the aggressor state’s registers of the audiovisual services;
  4. the alignment of the rules and service policies with the aggressor state legislation;
  5. ability to pay for the service with the aggressor state’s currency or via its payment systems;
  6. access provision to at least one prohibited linear foreign media;
  7. dissemination or access provision to programs (excluding informational and information-analytical ones), the participant of which is included in the List of Persons Threatening National Security;
  8. dissemination or access provision to the prohibited movies;
  9. targeting of the advertisement towards the aggressor state’s audience.

Pursuant to the Law on Media, the service can be included in the List upon the existence of aforementioned grounds, at the request of subjects having sufficient evidence that such grounds exist, or on NBC’s own initiative. In case legal grounds are present, NBC informs the relevant media service, requesting the cessation of violations and further clarifications. Notably, the lack of answer from the media service does not prevent the Council from reviewing the decision regarding the inclusion of such service in the List. The NBC’s decision follows its submission of websites to the NCEC for blocking within three days of the decision being made. 

Additionally, NBC can exclude the media service from the List should the relevant and sufficient reasons for this be submitted. This serves as a safeguard against potential abuses of the procedure. The List is published and regularly updated on NBC’s official website


As of now, 22 Russian media services have been added to the List, and consequently, 225 websites providing access to these services have been blocked by Internet service providers all over Ukraine. Noticeably, the List includes 2 main categories of services: large Russian on-demand audiovisual media services such as OKKO and Amediateka, and Russian pirate movie websites that were popular among Ukrainians: for example, HD REZKA, Baskino, KINOGO, Filmix, etc. Some services also broadcast prohibited Russian TV channels.

Overall, the legislative initiative can be considered as a positive step towards restricting consumption of Russian content and, in turn, popularising Ukrainian content producers. First of all, it aims to minimise the spread of Russian media, which was available as a part of preinstalled services on numerous TV sets, thus limiting the consumption of forbidden content that could contain propaganda for war and other harmful content.

As a side effect, it appeared to be an effective instrument for combating copyright breaches. Prior to the full-scale invasion, statistics showed that the 10 most popular pirate movie websites among Ukrainians originated from Russia. In this regard, the restriction of Russian media services prompted citizens to explore the legal alternatives available in Ukraine. For instance, the widespread Ukrainian media services include Megogo, SweetTV, Takflix, and Netflix, which have been available in Ukraine since 2016, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video. The latest Megogo report of 2023 demonstrated the growing popularisation of Ukrainian content. In particular, Ukrainian-made films took the second half of the rating for the subscription movies and claimed the leading position in the rating of free access movies. Additionally, in 2023, Megogo invested almost 1 million dollars in Ukrainian-language voiceover, making 76% of the whole Megogo catalogue have Ukrainian sound.