Prosecutors check Dozhd channel, will not close it down - source
The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has confirmed having launched an inquiry into the situation around the Dozhd television channel, a source from the Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax on Thursday.
"Checks have been launched into compliance with the legislation by the Dozhd television channel's editors," the source said.
The television cannot be closed down as a result of the inquiry, the source said.
"The question of closing down Dozhd is unlikely to be raised following the inquiry. Nevertheless, if there is good reason, prosecutors could respond with appropriate measures," the source said.
On January 26 Dozhd polled its viewers by asking them to answer whether more lives could have been saved during the siege of Leningrad, had the city been surrendered to the German troops. The poll was criticized by many politicians, public figures, as well as representatives of the Russian cable television market.
Meanwhile, prosecutors decided to check the television channel for possible violations, including extremism.
From a legal point of view, the Dozhd television channel is unlikely to be closed, but the situation surrounding Dozhd after its poll about the siege of Leningrad is first and foremost a question of moral integrity, Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.
For its part, Roskomnadzor (the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information and Mass Communications) saw the poll as violation of the mass media law and cautioned the channel about unacceptability of such violations in the future.
This "prophylactic" letter is not a warning and will not entail any sanctions against Dozhd, the agency's spokesperson said.