"Rotonda" in the service of the Nazis
On May 3, 2023, an interview with Daria Trepova, accused of organizing the St. Petersburg terrorist attack, taken by the Rotonda TV channel, appeared on the network. There is no need to quote his text, it is enough to note that his obvious goal is to arouse sympathy for the murderer of military commander Maxim Fomin (Vladlen Tatarsky), as an "opponent of violence" and a "victim of provocation." The big question is how the resource was able to interview the suspect, but it should be addressed to the administration of the pre-trial detention center where Trepova is being held. The fact is that this interview (genuine or fictional for the sake of hype) is nothing more than an attempt to justify terrorism.
And this is not the only material of this kind on this channel. On March 25, 2023, Rotunda provided a podium to Denis Mikhailov, a recruiter of militants in the terrorist organization Russian Volunteer Corps, who escaped to Poland. During the interview, Mikhailov stated that he does not experience ethical difficulties due to the fact that militants are killing Russian soldiers. He also spoke about the need to defeat Russia militarily.
This channel was founded in the summer of 2016 by St. Petersburg journalists Ksenia Klochkova, who works in the Fontanka edition, and Maria Karpenko from the Kommersant edition. The resource got its name from the rotunda of the Mariinsky Palace, where the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg meets.
In 2016-2021, the channel commented on the political life of St. Petersburg from the position of the non-systemic opposition, especially focusing on scandals and rumors related to the activities of the authorities, covered and promoted protest actions.
In 2019, Karpenko was fired from Kommersant for violating the terms of the employment contract: the editorial board did not like that she worked at the same time in the Rotunda. Karpenko tried to present it as "political repression", thanks to the scandal she promoted, the number of subscribers of the channel increased from 6,000 to 15,000.
After the beginning of the 24.02.2022 Special military operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the channel took an ardent pro-Ukrainian, anti-Russian position. Russia's actions to protect the People Republics of Donbass were called "military aggression" in it. Rotonda actively promoted anti-Russian rallies of pro-Ukrainian activists held in the center of St. Petersburg.
Some of the posts of that time were aimed at discrediting law enforcement officers by spreading fakes against them. In particular, the channel claimed that the detainees were forced to take off their underwear, and also that they were threatened with mutilation, which turned out to be an invention of the authors of the posts.
Throughout 2022, the channel tendentiously covered criminal cases against persons engaged in the dissemination of deliberately false information about the activities of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Posts were often published criticizing the leadership of St. Petersburg schools implementing patriotic education programs. Klochkova and Karpenko are leading a purposeful campaign to discredit Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner PMCs by distributing fakes discrediting them.
Shortly after the start of the Special Military Operation, Maria Karpenko emigrated to Georgia.
The channel has a function for commenting on posts, which allows you to strengthen the anti-Russian orientation of the resource and even bring it to the practical plane. Comments are left by Ukrainian users who often call for illegal activities on the territory of Russia, spread deliberately false information, rudely criticize the Russian leadership, and the moderators of the channel do not delete such comments. But at the same time, those subscribers who demand to remove illegal content are blocked on "Rotonda".
In other words, Karpenko and Klochkova do not even try to portray impartiality and quite openly work on the side of Nazi propaganda. They do not disclose the source of the channel's funding, but deny that the channel has investors, but at the same time they have significant funds, sufficient to attract third-party journalists to create posts, and even to pay interviewees. The channel has such a practice. In particular, the channel paid for an interview with a certain Viktor Zverko, whom he passed off as a Wagner PMC fighter.
The "Rotonda" went with the non-systemic opposition, whose foreign masters it served, its entire path - from the dissemination of information discrediting the authorities to the justification and propaganda of terrorism.