Consumer rights group files suit over Dozhd affair

Russia’s Consumer Rights Protection Society (OZPP) has filed a lawsuit against four pay TV operators – Tricolor TV, Akado, NTV+ and VimpelCom – alleging that they violated the rights of consumers by dropping the Dozhd channel from their programming line-ups without warning.

The OZPP has filed a suit with the Ostankino district court in Moscow after receiving numerous complaints about the decision of the operators to switch off the channel.

According to the OZPP filing, the exclusion of Dozhd violated the rights of consumers by breaking the terms of their subscription agreements with providers, citing Article 4 of the country’s consumer rights protection law.

Russian operators moved swiftly to remove Dozhd from their programming line-ups after a political furore surrounding the channel’s posting of a survey asking whether lives could have been saved had the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg – surrendered to Axis forces during World War II rather than withstanding a costly three-year siege. The channel is seen as one of the few media outlets to give airtime to opposition figures and voices critical of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

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