Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Earlier, the liberal Dozhd outlet had fired a journalist for comments seen as supporting Russian military

Latvia has run out of patience with TV Dozhd, the Baltic country's defense minister said on Friday, just hours after the Riga-based Russian opposition outlet tried to appease its hosts by firing a journalist they say misspoke on air.

"I believe that Dozhd should go to work in Russia and its residence permit should be revoked," Deputy PM Artis Pabriks said on Twitter, adding, "I am informed that the process has started."

Earlier on Friday, Latvia's media regulator NEPLP announced that it had fined TV Dozhd €10,000 ($10,538) for showing a map with Crimea marked as part of Russia - contrary to the claims of Kiev and Riga - and for calling Russian troops "our army," he said.

NEPLP head Ivars Abolins did not specify when the violations happened, but noted that they amounted to a second "serious breach" by the channel, and that a third strike may result in Dozhd losing their license.

TV Dozhd (Rain) had halted operations in Moscow at the beginning of March and set up shop in Riga in mid-June. The outlet has been highly critical of the Russian government and the conflict in Ukraine in particular. When one of their journalists urged the audience to share stories about the problems of Russians called to arms, the Latvians and Ukrainians took it as support for "aggressors."

"We hope that we have helped many service members, including, for example, with equipment and basic comforts on the frontline," Aleksey Korostelyov said on air on Thursday.

Dozhd Editor-in-Chief Tikhon Dzyadko first said the journalist really meant to solicit "personal accounts about crimes of the Russian army in Ukraine and violations during the criminal and senseless mobilization in the Russian Federation." News editor Ekaterina Kotrikadze later announced Korostelyov had been fired, apologized to the audience and said this was "the only right and possible option."

None of that appears to have helped calm the outraged Latvian - or Ukrainian - public, which continued to insist the channel was supporting Russia.

Pabriks himself agreed with one anime-avatar Twitter critic, saying there was "nothing Liberal" about Dozhd, "just blank imperialism."

(RT.com)

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