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Dozhd under siege as prosecutors open investigation

Russian prosecutors have reportedly opened an investigation into whether independent TV channel Dozhd broke the country’s laws by posting a survey on whether lives could have been saved if Leningrad – now St Petersburg – had surrendered to Axis forces during World War II instead of withstanding its costly three-year siege.

Dozhd apologized for any offence raised and withdrew the poll immediately. However, the incident drew a storm of criticism and led to the channel being pulled from a number of leading distribution platforms.

In addition to the intervention by prosecutors, the Russian media regulator, the Roskomnadzor, has said the channel violated the country’s media law, which requires media outlets to respect the public.

Dozhd, owned by journalist Natalia Sindeyeva, is widely seen as one of the few Russian channels that air criticism of the Russian government and air the views of opposition figures.