Russia's Popular Dozhd TV Suspends Operations Amid Pressure From Regulator Over War Coverage

The popular Russian television station Dozhd has suspended its operations amid pressure linked to its coverage of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The television channel's director-general and owner, Natalya Sindeyeva, said on March 3 that the decision had been made at a meeting of Dozhd's staff members, adding that the channel was suspending its operations for an uncertain period of time due to "new conditions."

Sindeyeva's announcement came one day after Dozhd's chief editor, Tikhon Dzyadko, said that he and several other Dozhd journalists had left Russia, fearing for their safety.


Dozhd's website was blocked in Russia on March 1 after the Prosecutor-General's Office demanded the move.

Russian authorities also took the Ekho Moskvy radio station off the air for distributing what authorities called information "calling for extremist activities, violence, and premeditated false information" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Ekho Moskvy announced its closure hours before Sindeyeva's announcement.

Roskomnadzor has warned media outlets across the country, including RFE/RL channels and websites, that Russia's actions in Ukraine cannot be called "war" or an "invasion" and should instead be referred to as a "special military operation in Ukraine."

Roskomnadzor on February 28 blocked Current Time and the Crimea.Realities project of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service for refusing to delete their reports about the war in Ukraine. Current Time is a Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.

Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, is expected to start discussing a draft law that envisions punishment of up to 15 years in prison for "premeditated distribution of false information about military operations of Russian Federation’s armed forces."