The lady, an oligarch and the Rain

Ex power-loyal oligarch now ousted by Cremlin ready to buy russian opposition-like TV? This morning russian web spread the new: russian top billionaire Mikhail Prohorov is ready to buy, or already bought, cable and web Channel Dozhd (Rain TV), launched in April 2010 and enjoying growing success among young people, intellectual elite and critics of russian politics with its fresh, young uncensored style. Then came the official declaration of Natalya Sindeeva, general director of Dozhd, posted on the channel’s facebook page: “I comment on rumors. Tv Rain is not going to be sold out. At the same time I can confirm the fact of talks with Onexim Group” (i.e., the holding Prohorov). Later Sindeeva added: “Colleagues agree, that an important issue remains open. That’s why we are holding this talks with Onexim group. The answer is simple: we need investments to further technical and content development of our Channel. We’re talking, to be precise, about involving another investor, but not about selling our Channel”. After stepping back from the leadership of a pro-Cremlin wanna-be-businessmen-friendly party, Prohorov recently decided to promote and finance the panrussian tourné of Grazhdanin Poet, a theatre-show voicing opposition moods into cultural scene. Now ready for the next step?  Will Cremlin let him do it? Or is it just another politeknologist clever manoeuvre  to soften Dozhd’s critical stance towards power, by lending the channel to a power-loyal guy, pretending to be unloyal? Onexim’s media group, Live, already includes the reviews “Snob”, “Russian Pioneer” and F5. The Group refused to comment on the transaction with russian media.

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