“TV Rain Shut Down in Latvia After Less Than 5 Months on Air Amid Accusations of Supporting Moscow’s Invasion of Ukraine”

Last independent television channel in russia, tv rain, has been shut down in latvia after less than five months on air. the national electronic media council (neplp) in latvia, the media regulator, revoked the licence due to threats to national security and public order. the channel was accused of displaying content that supported moscow’s invasion of ukraine. tv rain has denied these allegations, calling them “unfair and absurd”.

Incident occurred earlier this month when the neplp fined tv rain €10,000 for displaying a map in which occupied crimea was shown as part of russia’s territory. the channel was also censured for calling the russian army “our army” in a piece about how to provide recruits with supplies. as a result, one of the broadcaster’s hosts, alexei korostelyov, was fired. tv rain has been ordered to stop broadcasting on 8 december.

State security service (vdd) has been investigating the incident and said it has repeatedly warned about the “various risks emanating from russia’s so-called independent media relocating their activity to latvia”. the vdd said these risks include the possible connections of media representatives to russian intelligence and security services, as well as the danger posed if moscow seeks to target latvia as part of measures to influence public opinion online and elsewhere. the neplp decided to revoke tv rain’s licence because it was convinced that the management of tv rain did not understand the nature and gravity of each individual infringement. tv rain has said it will obey the order but will remain on youtube.


By Evey Lovelace

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