Latvia revokes licence for exiled Russian TV channel: regulator

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Latvia said Tuesday it was revoking the licence for exiled Russian independent channel Dozhd (Rain) for a series of violations including showing the Crimea peninsula annexed from Ukraine as part of Russia.

"TV Rain will stop broadcasting on December 8," Ivars Abolins, head of the Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council said on Twitter, adding: "The laws of Latvia must be respected by everyone".

The channel is also alleged to have voiced support for the Russian army and failed to ensure Latvian language translation, LETA news agency reported.

The regulator's decision can be appealed.

The channel moved to Latvia following Russia's invasion of Ukraine with a mission to provide independent information and counter Kremlin propaganda.

TV Rain suspended operations in Russia in early March after authorities blocked its broadcasts, which contained critical coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.

The Latvian government offered that they set up shop in Riga and by mid-July, their shows were back up and running.

Several other newsrooms have also found refuge in the Latvian capital, including Novaya Gazeta Europe and Deutsche Welle's Moscow branch.

The city has also hosted independent news website Meduza since 2014.

Latvia's regulator last week launched an investigation when a presenter on TV Rain called for viewers to provide "equipment to those Russians who are on the frontline", expressing "hope that we could help with equipment and basic amenities on the front".

TV Rain editor in chief Tikhon Dzyadko said at the time that the channel "does not engage in providing any help to the Russian army" and that it was collecting information about Russian war crimes.

Latvian law states that TV channels can lose their licence if they break the law three times within a year.