The entire staff of a Russian television channel resigned live on-air after declaring “no to war” in the final telecast. The decision was taken by the staff of TV Rain (Dozhd) after Russian authorities suspended its operations over its coverage of Ukraine war.
Natalia Sindeyeva, one of the channel’s founders, said “No to war” in its last telecast as the employees staged a walkout from the studio. The channel later said in a statement that it has suspended the operation “indefinitely”.
The video of mass resignation was shared by writer Daniel Abrahams on LinkedIn.
After the dramatic exit of the staff, the channel played the ‘Swan Lake’ ballet video, which was shown on state-run TV channels in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. The video has now gone viral on social media.
Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station, one of Russia’s last remaining liberal media outlets, has also been dissolved by its board after coming under pressure over its coverage of the war in Ukraine, its editor said on Thursday.
The station, one of the leading news and current affairs channels in Russia, had been taken off the air on Tuesday though it appeared still to be broadcasting on YouTube after the board’s decision was announced.
The radio station has featured interviews with Ukrainian journalists who described the horrors of Russia’s invasion, a decision, which according to New York Times, could have crossed a line.
However, Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktov told news agency Reuters this week that the station would not abandon the independent editorial line that has been its hallmark for three decades, declaring: “Our editorial policies won’t change.”
The United States accused Russia on Wednesday of launching a “full war on media freedom and the truth” by blocking independent news outlets and preventing Russians from hearing news of the invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia’s government is also throttling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms that tens of millions of Russia’s citizens rely on to access independent information and opinions,” the State Department said in a statement.
Russians also used social media to connect to each other and the outside world, it added.