A Russian TV channel was forced to tender an apology after being called out for “interviewing” an opera singer who had passed away in 2015 for a story.
Zvezda, the TV channel of the Russian Defence Ministry, claimed to have spoken with Elena Obraztsova, for its story on the funeral of controversial journalist Sergei Dorenko.
According to Russian independent media via the BBC, Zvezda quoted Obraztsova as saying Dorenko was “an uncompromising journalist” who “spoke the truth or did not speak at all”.
The article claimed the interview took place at the Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in Moscow, where Dorenko’s funeral was scheduled to take place on 12 May.
However, the funeral was later reported to be cancelled after the daughters from Dorenko’s first marriage requested further tests be carried out on his body.
As it emerged that Obraztsova had died in 2015, Zvezda changed the story by attributing the quotes to Obraztsova's daughter. The channel later took the story down, according to independent online TV channel Dozhd, but not before social media users had taken screenshots of the original article.
Zvezda has since apologised for the “untruthful report” and said the incident was being investigated and responsibility fixed.
“TV channel Zvezda formally offers its apology... to everyone who might have seen the publication in question,” the statement said.