TV station Dozhd now also a "foreign agent"
The Russian authorities have classified the popular pay-TV channel Dozhd as a "foreign agent". It is the 18th Russian media outlet to receive this designation. Such an announcement usually means the death of a non-state media outlet because its advertising revenues plummet and official bodies refuse to cooperate with it. Russian journalists are pessimistic.
Back to the dark Brezhnev days
On Dozhd itself, TV reporter Andrei Lozhak sees the state's actions as a step into the Soviet past:
“Very slowly the oxygen is being turned off and we are all being given to understand: 'Hey guys, you are unwanted citizens in this country, because instead of saying what a great president we have, you are trying to find bad sides'. We have in fact gone back not 30 years, when the perestroika press flourished, but 40 years, to 1981, to the epoch of deep, already calcified Brezhnevism. We know how it ended. That is how it will end now. There is no other way, because such a reactionary development is doomed to failure.”
Revenge for good journalism
For Novaya Gazeta the move is payback for too open and transparent reporting:
“This is no more than petty revenge for the fact that Dozhd's journalists have been doing their job too well lately. One of the station's cameras showed the country the protests in Khabarovsk while other channels were silently awaiting the word on just how much they could report. And in early 2021, Dozhd broadcast live from the Moscow demonstrations in support of Navalny. And everyone saw the police hailing blows on people on the streets of Moscow. But that is exactly the nature of journalism - and precisely what differentiates it from propaganda: a journalist must not turn away when thousands protest against the government, or when violence is used against them.”