ST. PETERSBURG, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Outraged St. Petersburg deputies have demanded that Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika investigates a TV channel's controversial opinion poll on the Nazi siege of Leningrad, now named St. Petersburg.
Thirty-four of 50 lawmakers voted for a probe of a Dozhd TV survey which asked respondents if the bombarded and starving city should have been surrended to surrounding forces to save its citizen's lives in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45.
“The Nazis were planning to completely destroy Leningrad. They definitely were not talking about saving hundreds of thousands of citizens in the event of surrender,” Alexey Makarov, United Russia party legislator and one of those calling for Chaika's intervention, told a session of the city assembly.
It was "ideological sabotage" aimed principally at young people making up the channel’s main audience, he said. The survey was a negative revaluation of national history and insulted the memories of St. Petersburg people.
“The date the siege was lifted is a sacred memorial day for us and it must not become a ground for political activists’ speculations. The prosecution should investigate the case and take extreme measures or even shut the channel down,” Makarov said.
Opposition members rejected the appeal to Chaika though they denounced the channel's airing.
Boris Vishnevsky, from the Yabloko party, called the action improper and indecent. “I personally talked to those who were there during the siege. They were insulted that certain full and satisfied people are now advising what could have been done 70 years ago,” he said.
Leader of the Grazhdanskaya Platforma party Maxim Reznik said the topic of the survey was inappropriate but the channel had removed the survey from its website and apologized for its actions. Legislator Marina Shishkina said that the channel’s staff had acted as amateurs but she did not consider it a reason to "bully" the whole channel.