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Dozhd Gets 50-Day Lifeline After Telethon

Published: April 1, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Crew members at Dozhds studios filming as a host conducts an interview with a guest during a fundraiser.
    Photo: Vladimir Filonov / SPT

Independent television channel Dozhd has extended its operation for at least 50 days in a fundraising campaign launched to save the channel after major cable networks refused to air it.

The money was collected during a week-long telethon from March 24 to 30 that sold yearly subscriptions to Dozhd, souvenirs featuring the Dozhd logo and tickets to a gala, as well as through public donations and sales of advertising space on the channel's website. The telethon sought to bring freedom of the press into the spotlight, even inviting guests on air to discuss the topic.

Related: Dozhd TV Fomenting a Hipster Revolution

Dozhd, which is known for covering opposition activities, found itself in hot water earlier this year after publishing a poll that asked whether Leningrad should have been surrendered during the Nazi siege to save hundreds of thousands of lives. The poll triggered complaints from officials, and cable operators subsequently dropped the channel, though they said the move had nothing to do with the poll.

Last week, Dozhd owner Alexander Vinokurov said the channel would still have to shut down if its landlord did not reconsider extending the lease for the channel's headquarters beyond June 20. Vinokurov said that hiring a new space and preparing it for the channel's operation would require millions of dollars and more than 18 months' time.

Related: Lawsuits Pour Into St. Petersburg Courts Over Dozhd Poll

But Dozhd spokeswoman Darya Simonenko said by phone Monday that Dozhd would not have to shut down if it lost its office, and that the channel's representatives would soon hold a news conference about the channel's plans. The date had not yet been set, she said.

There is hope among some of Dozhd's anchors that the channel may continue to produce video reports remotely even if the office is lost, three anchors told The Moscow Times last week.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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