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Cable, Satellite Companies Pull Russian TV Station Over WWII Poll

Published: January 30, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Dozhd's poll instantly drew outrage with officials saying its topic dishonored World War II veterans.
    Photo: music.ucla.edu

Several major Russian cable and satellite TV companies said Wednesday they would stop broadcasting liberal-leaning Dozhd channel in response to it running an online poll that officials say dishonored World War II veterans.

The row is likely to reignite concerns over media freedoms in Russia as the country readies for the international exposure of the Winter Olympics, which are set to get under way in the city of Sochi next month.

Dozhd initially drew outrage by running a survey on its website Monday asking viewers if Leningrad – now renamed St. Petersburg – should have been surrendered to the invading Nazi army in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Related: Revisionism Under Fire After Controversial Poll

The station quickly withdrew the poll, but is now facing calls from lawmakers in the St. Petersburg legislature for prosecutors to take action against the broadcaster. A number of satellite and cable providers have preempted potential action by the authorities and pulled Dozhd from the packages they offer subscribers.

“Three satellite TV providers – Akado, NTV Plus and Dom.ru – refused [to transmit Dozhd], not four, as was previously announced,” the website of state news channel Rossiya-24 reported.

Rostelecom, the largest universal telecommunications companies in Russia, later said it too had cut off Dozhd broadcasts to its cable subscribers.

Related: Putin Pays Tribute to Siege of Leningrad Victims

Media had previously reported that Tricolor TV, Russia’s biggest satellite television provider with over 14 million subscribers, also decided to exclude Dozhd from its satellite package. The company released an official statement condemn the station’s poll, but denied it planned to stop transmitting Dozhd.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphoto’s exhibition “On Both Sides,” chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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