According to Ivars Abolins, chairman of the National Electronic Media Council of Latvia, the management of the TV channel was not aware of the seriousness of each individual violation.
The decision will come into force on the night of December 8, from that day the channel should stop broadcasting in Latvia. Considering that Dozhd broadcasts its programs not only on TV, but also on YouTube, the Council will ask for the installation of a geo-blocking of the channel on this platform so that the content becomes unavailable in Latvia.
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov called the situation with the TV channel an example of erroneous illusions that somewhere it is better and freer than in Russia.
“All the time it seems to someone that somewhere is better than at home, and all the time it seems to someone that somewhere unfreedom at home. This is one of the clearest examples that demonstrates the fallacy of such illusions,” Peskov told reporters.
The channel’s troubles began in early December. There were three reasons for claims from the Latvian authorities. In the first case, the TV channel showed a map of the Russian Federation with Crimea included in it, and in the second case, a reservation by the host Alexei Korostelev, who said live that Dozhd was helping Russian servicemen. The Baltijas Balss edition also reported that the broadcasting of the TV channel could be stopped due to the lack of an audio track in the national language.
On December 1, in the episode of the Here and Now program, Alexei Korostelev asked to share information about the problems of Russian military personnel with the channel and said that “we hope that many military personnel, including we were able to help, for example, with equipment and with just basic amenities at the front.”
The head of the Dozhd information service, Ekaterina Kotrikadze, apologized to the audience and called this phrase erroneous and unacceptable for the TV channel. She also said that cooperation with Korostelev was terminated.
“Because of her, some of our viewers got the impression that the channel was sending equipment to the Russian army. This is not true. The Dozhd TV channel has not been, is not and will not be doing this in the future,” Kotrikadze said. In his Telegram channel, he said that the editors cut out a fragment with Korostelev’s statement from the repetitions and recording of the broadcast.
“I made a reservation, I did not call to murder ”
According to Korostelev, his words were misunderstood and taken out of context.
” I made a slip on the air, I’m ready to be fired for the sake of decisions channel problems <...>, but I did not call for murder directly or indirectly. I did not call for killing or buying funds for war for any army in the world. I don’t plead guilty to a crime against humanity,” he said.
Korostelev noted that he regretted the mistake he had made, and thanked the leadership of Dozhd for eight years of work.
The host was supported by his editorial colleagues , and after his dismissal, the host Margarita Lyutova and Vladimir Romensky announced their resignation.
“People have the right to make a mistake, and also the right to publicly explain themselves before public dismissal. Whatever the underlying considerations, his dismissal seems to me a big mistake, ”Lutova wrote on Facebook (the owner of Meta is recognized as extremist in Russia and banned).
Romensky, in his Telegram channel, explained that he himself was responsible for the release, because of which Korostelev was fired, as he “was sitting on the ear as the chief editor.” Duty orders to put the badge and the revolver on the table. Which is what I do. Rain, Queen Mother, but you have made a terrible mistake. “They threw theirs under the bus,” he wrote. ) As Natalya Sindeyeva, general director of the TV channel, said in an interview with Meduza (the organization is included in the list of foreign agents by the Ministry of Justice), the revocation of the Latvian license deprives the TV channel of all cable broadcasting, not only Latvian. From this, the company will lose about 20% of its revenue.
She noted that the channel did not try to negotiate with the Latvian authorities, since she was sure that their licenses would definitely not be deprived. She also called the dismissal of Korostelev a bad decision, made under the influence of emotions. “It seemed to us that this was a complete nightmare from all sides, everyone would turn away from us – Ukrainians, Latvians … Which, in fact, they did,” she noted.
She also noted that they are now discussing the possibility of moving employees from Latvia. “We have been thinking about this for a long time,” Sindeeva noted.
4 December RT, citing sources close to the general director of the TV channel Natalya Sindeeva, said that the possibility of moving Dozhd to Georgia was being considered.
At the moment, consultations with lawyers are allegedly underway. RT noted that the editorial office already has a studio and a ready-made technical base in Tbilisi.
On December 6, Sindeeva herself, in an interview with RBC, said that the TV channel plans to obtain a new license in another country.