The Latvian online media watchdog has fined Russia’s TV Rain €10,000, head of the watchdog Ivars Āboliņš tweeted.
Āboliņš said that the TV channel was fined for depicting Crimea as part of Russia and referring to the Russian army as “our army”.
This is the second offence by TV Rain in the past months, the watchdog can revoke its broadcast licence for significant violations of its rules, Āboliņš added.
The Russian TV channel is also under investigation for a report that speculates about possible support for the Russian army, the watchdog head said. “TV Rain has to respect and observe Latvian laws,” he added.
TV Rain host Alexey Korostelev previously said on air, “We hope that we could help many service members, particularly with equipment and just basic convenience on the frontline.” Later, editor-in-chief of TV Rain Tikhon Dzyadko said that the channel did not, is not and would not help out the Russian army with equipment, on the frontlines or beyond.
Later today, TV Rain fired Korostelev. “We made the decision to terminate cooperation with Alexey Korostelev from this day forward. It is a very difficult decision for us, but the TV Rain leadership believes it to be the only one that is right and possible,” Ekaterina Kotrikadze said on air.
The channel is yet to comment on the Latvian agency’s statement.
TV Rain was blocked in Russia a few days after the war in Ukraine broke out. It was forced to cease operation just like many other independent media in the country.
In July, TV Rain resumed broadcasting, announcing several new projects and a full-fledged operation for autumn.
“We will broadcast from four studios. We are in Riga, the main one, with 3 more studios in Tbilisi, Amsterdam, and Paris. There are more of us than it seems. Us, those who are against the war, murders, destruction of Ukraine, and Russia’s degradation,” Dzyadko then said.