The heads of Russian leading television stations have responded to their Ukrainian colleagues' call for unbiased coverage of the ongoing events in Ukraine.
The general directors of Channel One, the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) and NTV, Konstantin Ernst, Oleg Dborodeyev and Vladimir Kulistikov, said in an official statement, posted on the NTV website, that they were responding to an address earlier issued by the chiefs of Ukrainian TV stations, who urged their Russian colleagues to act impartially when covering the situation in Ukraine.
"Dear brothers and sisters, the main broadcasters of Ukraine! It is difficult for us to imagine you as "Zaporizhzhya Cossacks writing a letter" and ourselves as the "Turkish sultan" because we and you are members of the united and indivisible Slavic television space, which has become an integral part of the day-to-day life of citizens of Russia and Ukraine. And if someone within this space begins talking about war, it is important to remember the moment at which this frightening word became relevant. Was it not the moment when these new people attempted to discredit the Russian language, which we use in our communication and broadcasts?" the statement says.
The heads of Russia's three leading TV stations also said that "if our Ukrainian colleagues had made this call at that moment, we would have certainly joined it and would have been able to prevent the subsequent events."
Russian journalists who work in Kiev and other Ukrainian regions that are being controlled by the new authorities have been receiving threats, they said.
"We respect our profession and will never debase ourselves to such a symmetric response. And we would like to stress that all of the measures that Russia was forced to take were aimed at preventing such a scenario in all matters big and small," they said.
The authors of the statement said that they would also want to ask their Ukrainian colleagues to act impartially and responsibly.
"Let's act objectively and responsibly, weighing our words and keeping our emotions in check. Let's do so together, not separately as we have been doing of late. And all this will definitely help us produce an objective insight into today's reality. This is what counts most for all of us today," they said.
In an open letter to Ernst, Dobrodeyev and Kulistikov, Ukraine's media chiefs demanded transparent, balanced and unbiased coverage of Ukrainian events in the Russian media.