Russian independent TV Rain (Dozhd) loses license in Latvia

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TV Rain (Dozhd).
TV Rain (Dozhd). Source: SCANPIX/REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

The Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) has stripped Russian independent TV Rain of its license, Ivars Abolins, NEPLP chairman, told Latvia's public broadcaster LSM.

The right to broadcast of TV Rain has been revoked in the context of national security and public order and the network is set to disappear on Thursday, December 8.

The NEPLP fined TV Rain €10,000 for displaying a map in which occupied Crimea was marked as Russian territory and for calling the Russian army "our army" in a piece that mentioned how viewers could help provide recruits to the illegal invasion force with supplies and equipment, the Twitter account of the watchdog reported on December 2.

The media supervisor noted that this was the second major violation of "TV Rain" in recent months. The NEPLP is entitled to cancel the channel's broadcast license completely if a third major infringement took place, warned Abolins.

The NEPLP "was convinced that the management of TV Rain did not understand the nature and gravity of each individual infringement, nor of any set of infringements."

Russian journalists of TV Rain in their Telegram channel called "all the accusations against the channel unfair and absurd," adding that they would remain on the YouTube platform. 

TV Rain moved its broadcasting premises to Latvia after Russia launched the war in Ukraine and the network was forced to suspend its activities there.

TV Rain first aired in Russia in 2010, while all major cable operators dropped it four years later, which the network described as an intimidation campaign.

The network was founded by Natalya Sindeyeva, with TV Rain later financed by her husband, banker Aleksandr Vinokurov.

The network became more widely known after its coverage of Russian Duma elections and the ensuing protests in 2011.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

Source: LSM

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