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Independent channel TV Rain declared “undesirable” in Russia

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The independent television channel TV Rain (“Dozhd”) has been labeled an “undesirable organization” in Russia, according to a statement issued by the Prosecutor-General’s Office. The government agency specified that the ruling will apply to the channel’s legal entities in “Latvia and the Netherlands.” After Russia adopted a law banning the spread of “fake information” about its military, the TV channel was forced to move its editorial office to the EU.

Here's how the Prosecutor General's Office explained the decision:

“SIA TV Rain and TVR Studios B.V. distribute materials of extremist organizations (ACF, Navalny's headquarters), terrorist organizations (Hizb ut-Tahrir), foreign agents (Meduza, Radio Liberty). They publish information materials of organizations recognized as undesirable on a regular basis.”

In early March 2022, TV Rain CEO Natalia Sindeeva announced that the channel was temporarily suspending operations due to Russia’s law on “fakes” about the war.

“We are temporarily suspending the work of the TV channel. Temporarily — this is very important. We need strength and time to catch our breath and figure out how to carry on working, as the adoption of this law makes our job practically impossible. [...] This was the last newscast. [...] I wrote a speech, but I can't give it because I'll start crying again. We've been through a lot and never gave up, and we're not giving up now. We need to think how to preserve everything we have been doing for many years and how to continue this work,” Sindeeva said at the time.

TV Rain announced its return in July, with Dozhd studios set to operate in Riga, Amsterdam, Tbilisi, and Paris.

Last December, Latvia's National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP) made the decision to revoke TV Rain's broadcasting license. 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.

The General Prosecutor's Office previously recognized the activities of multiple independent opposition media outlets — such as The Insider, Meduza, Important Stories, Proekt, and Novaya Gazeta Europe — as “undesirable.”

On May 19, the environmental activist organization Greenpeace was also declared “undesirable” in Russia.

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