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21 September 2018

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Rain, Rain, Go Away

Author: Maria Antonova

Mar/Apr 2014
Page 7   ( 2 pages)

Summary: On the closure of one of the last independent broadcasters.


The television channel Dozhd (“Rain”), a privately owned outlet that broadcasts via the internet and satellite, found itself in hot water in January.

During commemorative events for the seventieth anniversary of the 1944 lifting of the Siege of Leningrad, Dozhd asked its viewers to participate in a phone-in poll on the question, “Should we have given up Leningrad [to Fascist Germany] to save thousands of lives?” The question was also posted on the channel's website and social networking pages.

More than 630,000 civilians are estimated to have died during the Siege of Leningrad, which began in late 1941. The poll of the channel's viewers — mostly middle-class Muscovites who have little love for the Kremlin — came while St. Petersburg was in the midst of a multi-day event marking the anniversary of the blockade's end on January 27, 1944.

The question provoked an uproar. Top pro-Kremlin talking heads accused Dozhd of sympathizing with the Nazis and a chorus of like-minded voices drowned out the channel's apology. The poll was withdrawn the day it was posted.

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