The decision follows the Kremlin’s draconian “fake news” law, effectively making it a crime to tell the truth about the war in Ukraine. But the husband-and-wife team behind the canal said that wasn’t stopping them.
“You face up to 15 years in prison if you call this war a war if you quote President Zelensky,” Kotrikadze told CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday. “If you’re telling the truth, then we didn’t have a choice.”
Right now, TV Rain’s content can mostly be found on his YouTube channel. Despite government attempts to control access to information, According to Dzyadko, many Russians watch live broadcasts of the Dozhd TV channel.
“People are asking for one alternative source of information so they don’t depend on this Russian propaganda machine,” Kotrikadze said.
CNN chief correspondent Brian Stelter asked if this was not a lack of access to independent news in Russia, but a lack of demand on the part of Russians to know what was really going on in Ukraine.
Kotrikadze said claims by the Kremlin’s “dictatorial regime” that a majority of Russians support the so-called “special operation” in Ukraine “are not true.”
“I was struck by the number of people who wrote to us in private messages on social networks, and also commented on our different accounts,” Kotrikadze said.
“We have a huge responsibility to our viewers who have supported us throughout the 12 years of existence,” said Dzyadko.