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Estonia bans Latvia-based Russian TV station Dozhd following its bans in Latvia and Lithuania

Dozhd TV Rain Latvia license revoke cancel currently latvia based russian Dozhd TV Rain self-proclaimed independent opposition tv station
Credit: TVrain.ru
Starting December 8, Estonia bans the broadcasting of the Russian TV channel Dozhd also known as TV Rain on its territory following the bans of the station in two other Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania. The Estonian TV operators Telia and Elisa confirmed this information to Suspilne. Dozhd is the Latvia-based Russian TV station in exile posing as a liberal oppositional TV channel.

“Yes, starting December 8, 2022, broadcasting of the TV channel Dozhd is prohibited in Estonia due to a national court injunction,” the Telia company said.

Elisa specified that such a decision was made by the Estonian regulator:

“TV Rain will cease broadcasting from December 8, according to the order sent by the TTJA (Estonia’s Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority, – Ed.). As of December 8, there is no right to broadcast the specified channel in the European Union,” the company said.

The Estonian newspaper Postmees added:

“The reason is that the [Dozhd’s] license canceled by the Latvian authorities gave the channel the right to distribute its content in the EU, the US, and other countries. After the cancellation of the license, that is, from December 8, Dozhd will cease to be broadcast.”

Why TV Dozhd was banned

The channel has been fined 10,000 euros ($10,468) for using a map that showed Ukraine’s Russian-annexed Crimea as part of Russia and calling Russian armed forces invading Ukraine “our army.”

On December 1, Dozhd anchor Alexei Korostelyov said on-air  that TV Dozhd helps the mobilized Russian military:

“We hope we also helped many military personnel, namely by assisting with equipment and bare necessities on the front line,” he said.

On 2 December, Ivars Abolins, the chairman of Latvia’s National Council on Electronic Media (NEPLP), tweeted that it was Dozhd’s second violation of regulations in recent months, adding that a third violation of that kind would lead to the suspension of the television channel’s license.

When Korostelyov’s statement faced backlash, Dozhd backtracked claiming that the TV channel doesn’t equip the Russian military and has stopped cooperation with Korostelyov.

Latvia launched investigation as Russian Riga-based “oppositional” TV channel promoted helping Russian army

On 6 December, the National Electronic Media Council of Latvia (NEPLP) canceled the broadcasting license of Dozhd, referring to a “threat to national security and public order.” Undisclosed information received from Latvia’s State Security Service was also considered in taking this decision. Access to TV Dozhd’s Youtube channel has also been blocked in the Latvian territory, according to Postmees.

Latvia cancels license of Russian TV Rain (Dozhd) over “threat to national security”: details

After the station was stripped of its broadcasting license, its CEO Natalia Sindeeva asked the fired host Alexei Korostelev to re-join the media company.

On 6 December, the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania (LRTK) said that the Russian TV station Dozhd will no longer be accessible in Lithuania as well.

Now, Estonia has joined the ban.

Ukraine banned Dozhd from broadcasting in the country back in 2017 for showing Crimea as Russian territory on a map.

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