Latvian regulator revokes license of exiled Russian broadcaster over accusations of assisting Russian troops

Journalists work in a news room of the Dozhd (Rain) TV channel in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021. Russian authorities have designated a top independent TV channel as a "foreign agent," intensifying pressure on critical media ahead of next month's parliamentary elections. The Justice Ministry announced Friday that the Dozhd (Rain) TV channel and the Vazhnye Istorii (Importrant Stories) investigative online outlet have been added to the list of "foreign agents" along with seven of its journalists. (AP Photo/Denis Kaminev)
By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

Latvia revoked the license of Russia’s exiled television station TV Rain on Tuesday following concerns over threats to national security, the chairman of Latvia’s broadcasting regulator confirmed.

“In connection with the threat to the national security and public order, (the regulator) has made a decision this morning to annul the broadcast license of TV Rain,” Ivars Abolins explained in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“The laws of Latvia must be respected by everyone,” he added.

The Russian TV channel, which had relocated to Latvia earlier this year after being forced to abandon its offices in Moscow by order of the Kremlin for its coverage of the war in Ukraine, will cease to broadcast in Latvia on Thursday.

The move by the Latvian regulator follows a probe into claims the Russian broadcaster had been helping pro-Moscow troops taking part in the Ukraine war, with the state security service in a press release on Thursday accusing the station of “providing assistance to the soldiers of Russia’s occupying forces.”

“No provision of support to the aggressor Russia is justifiable,” the Latvian security services added.

Responding to the revocation of its license in a Twitter post on Tuesday, TV Rain denied the accusations of collusion with Russian forces.

“The Latvian authorities have decided to revoke the license of the Dozhd TV channel. The TV channel will stop broadcasting on cable, but will remain on YouTube.

“We continue to work and consider all accusations against us to be unfair and absurd,” the station said.

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