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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, Russias 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 stations poll, but denied it planned to stop transmitting Dozhd.

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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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