Alexei Navalny, who is currently serving a lengthy sentence at Penal Colony No. 6 in Vladimir, supported the TV Rain channel, whose license was recently revoked by the Latvian authorities. He voiced his support for the broadcaster on Twitter:
“I want to express my support for @tvrain. It is an honest, independent media outlet that I have worked with since its inception. Their work this year, when they uncompromisingly condemned Putin's war against Ukraine and became a source of truth about that war for millions of Russians, delights me.
The decision of the Latvian authorities to revoke TV Rain's license seems to me misguided and based on a lack of information. Of course, Latvia is free to make any decision in the interests of its citizens, and I don't think they see a threat in a media outlet whose host made an on-air slip.”
Navalny said he believes in European democracy and the judicial system, and has no doubts that “a fair decision will be made in the end.”
On December 6, TV Rain's license was revoked. This action was taken after anchor Alexei Korostelev made a controversial comment about assisting the Russian military during a live broadcast. Korostelev was subsequently dismissed from his position. According to Ivars Abolins, head of the National Electronic Media Council of Latvia, the decision was made “due to the threat to national security.”
The official had posted on Twitter during the Euromaidan, suggesting that Latvia should sponsor Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who opposed the country's European integration, as he believed Ukraine did not belong in the European Union. Additionally, he praised Putin's speech before the Federation Council of the Russian Federation on the day of the annexation of Crimea on March 18, 2014, describing it as “excellent.”
Abolins stated that he regretted his old statements, explaining that they were based “on the information available at the time.”