Inquiry under way after Dozhd TV channel's Siege of Leningrad poll
The Prosecutor's Office of St. Petersburg is conducting an investigation into the Dozhd television station's public opinion survey dedicated to the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, the Prosecutor's Office said in a press release on Thursday.
"The Prosecutor's Office of St. Petersburg is carrying out an inquiry concerning possible violations - whether or not the TV channel overstepped the border of what is acceptable ahead of the memorable date of the breakthrough of the Siege of Leningrad," it said.
The Prosecutor's Office of Kingisepp, a town outside of St. Petersburg, is conducting its own inquiry into the poll.
A spokesman for the Leningrad region Prosecutor's Office told Interfax that these measures were being taken in response to a complaint about the survey received from one of the citizens.
"He believes that the question formulated by the TV channel contains information that insults veterans. An inquiry was launched in response to this complaint," the spokesman said.
On January 29, Dozhd asked its viewers if they thought surrendering Leningrad to the Nazi forces during World War II would have been more humane than letting the city's disastrous siege go ahead.
This public opinion survey has drawn a fierce response from political and public figures, as well as companies operating on Russia's cable television market.
For his part, Yury Pripachkin, president of Russia's Cable Television Association, proposed halting the transmission of Dozhd in its cable network.
The possibility of suspending its broadcasting service was discussed by cable television operators, including Russian Cable Television Association's Vice President Mikhail Silin, who is also a supervisory board member at Akado Group.
The Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov, for his part, said on Wednesday that from a judicial standpoint it is hardly possible to speak about the TV station's closure, describing the situation as a moral and ethnic issue.
Several operators of cable and satellite TV networks, including Akado and NTV+, have already announced their decision to suspend the use of the license for the transmission of Dozhd.
Dozhd editor-in-chief Mikhail Zygar, for his part, told Interfax: "I am certain that we have not breached the law and did not want to offend anyone. We offer our sincere apology to all those who interpreted this as an insult."