Rain, the last independent television channel in russia, has been shut down in latvia after only five months on air. the national electronic media council (neplp) of latvia revoked the channel’s licence, citing threats to national security and public order. the channel, known as dozhd in russian, has been accused of displaying content that is supportive of moscow’s invasion of ukraine.
Closure occurred on 8 december, with the regulator having previously fined the channel â¬10,000 for displaying a map in which occupied crimea was shown as part of russia’s territory and for calling the russian army “our army” in a piece about how to provide recruits with supplies. this led to one of the broadcaster’s hosts, alexei korostelyov, being fired.
Decision has been met with criticism from many opposition figures in russia, who believe tv rain is an important source of independent information for russian speakers about the war. the state security service (vdd) has investigated the incident and warned of the “various risks” associated with russian media relocating their activity to latvia. the kremlin spokesperson dmitry peskov commented that some illusions of finding more freedom elsewhere than at home were proven wrong.