Russian TV channel blasts 'Iron Curtain' from outside

STORY: "We understand that the page of Russian modern history called independent journalism in Russia has been turned," Dzyadko, Dozhd's Editor-in-Chief, told Reuters from a bare-bones television studio in Georgia.

Launched in 2010, Dozhd is one of Russia's few major independent media outlets. The channel has been a popular source of news on the mass protests over the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and other topics that receive no coverage on state television.

The channel, sometimes referred to as TV Rain in English, was added to a list of "foreign agents" last by the authorities in what Kremlin opponents say is part of a crackdown against critical media.

With its staff now outside of Russia to escape a law foreseeing up to 15 years for spreading intentionally "fake" news about the military, Dozhd is planning to relaunch in the coming weeks, broadcasting from cities including Tbilisi, Riga and Amsterdam. Latvian authorities have already issued it a broadcasting license.

Although many details of the relaunch remain to be determined -- including its date and precise format -- Kotrikadze sees Dozhd's return to broadcasting as something "something bright, new and big" to be a "headache for Russian propaganda."

For Kotrikadze, much of the relaunch's success will depend on the channel's ability to find the right tone when reporting Russian from outside the country.

"How should you talk to those who still believe that the so-called 'special military operation' is the right thing to do?" she said, referring to the term used by Russian authorities to describe Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

"I don't want to hate these people. I want to understand what they are thinking. And I want to I want to talk to them."

Dzyadko thinks back to how his parents in Moscow listened to the foreign broadcasts of Radio Liberty during the Soviet era, and how Dozhd viewers soon will be experiencing something similar.

"I have no doubt that there will be a way to get through this digital Iron Curtain in Russia," he said.

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