Ukraine: Tycoon to Launch English-Language News Network

Funded by Igor Kolomoisky, Ukraine Today, the country's only English-language network, wants to be Ukraine's answer to Russia Today.

MOSCOW – Ukraine will see the launch of its first and only English-language TV network, Ukraine Today, in a bid to provide international audiences with more news about Ukraine.

The idea of an English-language network was first floated by the Ukrainian government earlier this year, but Ukraine Today will be operated by private broadcasting group 1+1 Media, owned by local tycoon and governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region Igor Kolomoisky.

On Aug. 11, the network is scheduled to start a trial run, and on Aug. 24 it is expected to officially go on air.

"For us, as one of Ukraine's leading media companies, it is vital to give the international community access to true facts and events in Ukraine, Russia and CIS countries," Alexander Tkachenko, general director of 1+1 Media, was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian online newspaper "Unfortunately, lately we have witnessed a large-scale information war on the part of Russia's state-run media."

He added: "Ukraine Today is our contribution in Ukraine's European choice."

Russia has had a state-run English-language network, Russia Today, since 2005, and it has often been accused of propaganda and biased coverage.

Before the end of this year, Ukraine Today will be available in Europe on the HotBird satellite, and it is scheduled to reach U.S. audiences next year.

With a net worth of $1.8 billion, according to Forbes, Kolomoisky is one of Ukraine's wealthiest people. He supported the Maidan revolution in Kiev, which ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych early this year.