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TV channel once again apologizes over Leningrad siege poll scandal

February 07, 2014, 18:48 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
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ST. PETERSBURG, February 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of the Dozhd (Rain) TV channel during a meeting in St. Petersburg on Friday with former Leningrad residents once again apologized for the poll that outraged the public.

The television channel was in focus of a scandal after the poll about a possibility to surrender the city during World War II.

The meeting was held in the headquarters of the organization Children of Blockade - 900. Deputy Editor in Chief of the TV channel Tikhon Dzyadko on his behalf and on behalf of his colleagues once more apologized to former blockade sufferers.

"Thank you very much that you have found time to come here and talk on the issue very painful for you and very painful for us," he said. "We -- the Dozhd TV channel -- have apologized and now I apologize once more for the incorrect formulation of the question," he said.

As was reported earlier on Friday, a representative from the St. Petersburg office of Russia's Union of Pensioners is suing Dozhd TV channel claiming 50 million roubles in damages for its scandal-rocked opinion poll about the World War Two Leningrad blockade.

"I have filed a suit as an individual at Krasnogvardeisky court for moral damage and serious moral challenge to people who withstood the blockade to defend the city and through it, the entire country," Boris Ivchenko told Itar-Tass by telephone.

"If I achieve justice, I do not intend to take the money for myself but transfer it to people who defended Leningrad. These will be not personal, but public funds," he said, noting that material compensation was demanded since Dozhd apologies were not enough. Hearing of such petitions usually began within ten days, Ivchenko added.

On the eve of the 70th anniversary since lifting of the blockade, Dozhd asked visitors on its Internet website to say whether surrendering to Nazi forces would have saved the city's residents.

The public was outraged. On January 29, St. Petersburg parliament deputies appealed to Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika to take steps towards the broadcaster's closure. The same day, Communist members of the State Duma lower house also asked Chaika for the same sanction.

Some cable television operators have halted Dozhd output.

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