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Prosecutor’s office carries out inspection over Dozhd TV channel’s poll on Leningrad siege

January 30, 2014, 14:02 UTC+3

However, it’s early to talk about what violations are in question, the watchdog’s representative said

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Protest action on the roof of Dozhd headquarters

Protest action on the roof of Dozhd headquarters

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Dukhovich

SAINT PETERSBURG, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The Prosecutor’s Office of Saint Petersburg initiated an inspection over the poll related to Leningrad’s siege that was carried out on the official website of Dozhd TV channel, senior aide to the city’s prosecutor for media relations Marina Nikolayeva told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“The prosecutor of Saint Petersburg ranged himself on the side of survivors of siege and decided to carry out an inspection on whether this poll contains any law violations,” Nikolayeva said. She added that it’s early to talk about what violations are in question. “The inspection is carried out by the prosecutor’s office department engaging in human rights defense,” Nikolayeva said, specifying that the check has begun on the previous day.

Earlier it was reported that January 29, deputies of St. Petersburg legislature addressed to Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika asking to carry out an inspection of the TV channel and take steps “to the extent of shutting down the channel”. On the same day, Duma’s faction of Russia’s Communist Party (KPRF) turned to the Prosecutor General with a similar request.


Reaction on the poll

On the eve of the 70th anniversary since lifting the Leningrad blockade, visitors to Dozhd Internet portal were asked to say whether Leningrad should have been surrendered in order to save its residents. The question put to the visitors to Dozhd Internet portal caused uproar in society. Deputies of the State Duma have branded it as "rehabilitation of Nazism and an act of betrayal of their own people".

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.

A group of deputies from the State Duma’s KPRF faction intends to file a request to the Prosecutor General’s Office asking to give an estimate of Dozhd channel’s actions. “The major part of my colleagues wishing to sign the document is currently at ceremonies devoted to the 70th anniversary of lifting of Leningrad’s siege,” one of the authors of the document, MP Dmitry Novikov said.

In addition, a legal evaluation of the incident will be given by Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (Roskomnadzor). “We received the claim and are currently looking into the situation in order to give a legal evaluation to it in the nearest time,” the watchdog’s representative Vadim Ampelonsky said earlier.

Russia’s major pay-TV provider Tricolor TV, which broadcasts Dozhd channel, called the poll on their website a mockery of veterans’ feelings.

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