The liberal-leaning Russian unbiased TV station Dozhd (TV Rain) resumed broadcasting on Monday night (18 July) from overseas after being pressured to close its Moscow studio following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Dozhd, portrayed within the 2021 movie “Tango with Putin”, was visited and praised in 2011 by then-president Dmitry Medvedev when it was only a yr previous, and largely apolitical.
However like all Russian unbiased media, it has been harassed relentlessly since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012.
On Monday, it mentioned it had acquired a European Union broadcasting licence and can be working from studios in Latvia, France and the Netherlands – in addition to Georgia, the place many Russians uncomfortable with the invasion have moved since February.
It should additionally stream on YouTube, which isn’t censored in Russia and is more likely to be the one manner most individuals in Russia will be capable to see it.
“Because of the repressive legal guidelines and army censorship adopted in Russia, we had been pressured to go away our houses. Now we’re resuming our work from exterior the nation,” Dozhd’s assertion mentioned.
As Russia grew to become extra authoritarian, notably after the suppression of protests in opposition to the result of the 2012 election, a station that referred to as itself “Optimistic Channel” discovered it may not ignore politics.
In 2014, it was thrown off broadcast networks after conducting a ballot through which respondents mentioned the Soviet Union ought to have deserted Leningrad to Hitler in 1941 as a substitute of resisting a Nazi siege for nearly 900 days – a subversion of the best of wartime resistance and assertion of Russian values that Putin likes to evoke.
In 2021, Dozhd was expelled from the Kremlin press pool and labelled a “international agent”. The designation pressured it to append a disclaimer to all its output – now confined to the web – and imposed a number of administrative obligations.
On 1 March Russia’s communications watchdog introduced it was blocking Dozhd’s output, accusing it of spreading “intentionally false details about the actions of Russian army personnel” in Ukraine. The subsequent day, Dozhd introduced that its staff had left Russia.