Rain TV channel (Dozhd) which is one of the independent media houses operating in Russia declared the suspension of its operations.
Natalia Sindeyeva, who is one of the founders of the channel said ‘No To War’ loud and clear as the staff of the channel walked out from the studio while its ultimate broadcast aired live on YouTube.
How Russia Suppresses Dissent!
The day when a media house in Russia attempts to cover anything about the Ukraine invasion and the impacts of the war, the Russian authorities deem it fit to suspend the operations of that channel altogether.
This step by the authorities signals towards the minimal freedom of press and expression which the media houses operating within Russians boundaries can exercise.
it also points towards the increasing antiwar sentiment amongst the local Russians and the persistent attempts of Putin’s Government to repress opposition and dissent.
The authorities prohibited access to Facebook in an attempt to stifle the critical sentiment against the attack, as Facebook became the ground to amplify this disagreement and war condemning voices of the general public.
Rain TV was the last Liberal Russian channel that stopped functioning after being ordered by the authorities to shut the channel on the accord of it telecasting its coverage of ‘Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine’.
The whole staff of Rain TV resigned on air by declaring its stance on the Russian Ukraine situation as “No to War”
As per The New York Times, the Russian telecommunications authorities blocked Rain TV prior in this week as well. few of its employees already left the country on accord of their own safety.
Meanwhile TVRain, the last independent media outlet operating in Russia, has shut down — here's the last few minutes of its broadcast, poorly Google Translated. It then cut to Swan Lake, which has particular relevance: https://t.co/XXtUHroZkt pic.twitter.com/Iq7HSal7FW
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 3, 2022
Apart from Rain TV, The New Time, a Russian magazine that is blatantly critical of the Kremlin was also asked to block its operations due to its reporting about the Russian Military fatalities which the Russian government did not reveal to the public at large.
The Russian officials also put pressure on the media as to how NOT to cover the news and have lamented any report that describes the attack as an “Invasion” or a “War” as false.
Another Media House Dissolved
Ekho Moskvy, a radio station that identifies as a liberal media outlet was also dissolved on accord of its coverage on Ukraine.
“The Ekho Moskvy board of directors has decided by a majority of votes to liquidate the radio channel and the website of Ekho Moskvy,” Editor-in-Chief Alexei Venediktovs said.
Venediktov’s stance on not abandoning its “independent editorial line” led to this closure as the station aired interviews with the journalists of Ukraine who talked about the horrifying situations arising due to the invasion by Russia.
Ekho Moskvy radio and TV Dozhd we’re both just shut down. The most prominent of the few Russian outlets allowed to be critical of the Kremlin. Putin is increasing the news blackout to prepare for more atrocities in Ukraine.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) March 1, 2022
⚠️#Russia: Earlier today the website & social media accounts of #EkhoMoskvy – the country's leading independent radio broadcaster – were closed. The speed & severity of this crackdown on media is unprecedented. @echomskru
— IPI-The Global Network for Independent Journalism (@globalfreemedia) March 4, 2022
The Significance of Swan Lake Ballet
Swan Lake Ballet was aired by Rain TV once the staff walked out of the studio. Swan Lake which is composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer in the year 1875 is one of the most famous ballets. But, over the years it has become parallel to political bouleversement in Russia.
Going down history, when Leonid Brezhnev the Soviet Leader passed away in 1982 as being in power for almost 2 decades, the media houses controlled by the state did not declare this news immediately instead telecasted Swan Lake.
A similar broadcast was observed when Yuri Andropov who succeeded Leonid Brezhnev died in 1984. So, it is said that the intention of broadcast of the Swan Lake is to block access or interrupt the news until everything else falls in place with a proper succession plan.
TVRain, the last independent broadcaster in Russia, has been shutdown by authorities. The channel is now broadcasting Swan Lake, a throwback to the old 1991 coup days when TV would only show the Tchaikovsky ballet on a loop. That’s how people knew there was turmoil in the country pic.twitter.com/EPavNMthrZ
— Dmitri Alperovitch (@DAlperovitch) March 3, 2022
This happened yet again in 1991 when there was an attempt to overthrow Gorbachev’s government and the TV news channels stalled the news by airing the Swan Lake.
Therefore the airing of Swan Lake by Rain TV after their YouTube Broadcast has historical importance and highlights the political upheaval occurring in Russia.