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Putin does not want to meddle in Dozhd TV channel’s fate

June 06, 2014, 21:44 UTC+3 DEAUVILLE (France)

"I have not given the instruction to cable channels to stop working with you", Putin said

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DEAUVILLE (France), June 06 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin does not want to meddle in the fate of the Dozhd TV channel, Putin said at a briefing while answering a question from the channel’s correspondent.

“I don’t give such instructions, I have not given the instruction to cable channels to stop working with you. I don’t think I am entitled to give them instructions. You work with them on your own,” Putin said.

In early February, all large Russian operators of cable and satellite television, including Akado, NTV Plus, Tricolor TV, Rostelecom and Beeline, stopped broadcasting Dozhd programs in their own networks. As a result, the channel technically lost 85% of its audience.

The situation followed an incident in January when Dozhd provoked outrage in Russia posting a survey asking respondents if the Soviet Union should have surrendered Leningrad, besieged by the German armed forces, to the Nazis to avoid mass deaths.

Leningrad was historically and is currently known as St. Petersburg.

Dozhd currently broadcasts on the Internet on paid subscription terms. The channel faces closure because advertisers have lost interest in it and lessors refused to prolong the lease of the TV channel’s office in Moscow.

In mid-April, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists that Dozhd will not face excessive attention on the part of controlling bodies if that is the reason why Dozhd is not broadcasting. The Association of Russia’s Cable Operators said after that it is ready to help the channel start talks with operators.

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