Kyiv Post closes amid row over editorial independence

Kyiv Post closes amid row over editorial independence
The newspaper cover from 2018, when Kivan took over the ownership of the newspaper

9 November 2021

Ukraine’s largest English-language newspaper, the Kyiv Post, has closed its doors after 26 years amid a conflict between the publisher and its journalists.

The newspaper’s owner, real estate tycoon Adnan Kivan, who has a property empire in Odesa and Kyiv, said that the closure was “temporary”, adding: “One day, we hope to reopen the newspaper bigger and better.”

But the newspaper’s 50 journalists, who were fired en masse on 8 November, said the decision was “an act of vengeance”, after they’d criticised Kivan’s plans. In a joint statement, they claimed that Kivan’s plans to launch a Ukrainian-language publication as part of the Kyiv Post brand was an “attempt to infringe on our editorial independence”. They also said that Kivan would be restarting operations in a month with completely new staff.

Some commentators, including the editor-in-chief of newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda, Sevgil Hayretdın Qızı Musaieva, said that the closure had been caused by “pressure” from Ukraine’s presidency due to the Kyiv Post’s criticism of government corruption. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s spokesman, Serhiy Nykyforov, rejected the claims. “The news came as a surprise to us, just like for everyone else,” he added.

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