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Latvia Fines Russia's Liberal Dozhd TV Over Ukraine Coverage

Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

Latvia has fined independent Russian television channel Dozhd 10,000 euros ($10,500) over its coverage of the war in Ukraine, the Latvian National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) said Friday.

The channel was penalized for displaying a map marking the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russia and for referring to the Russian Armed Forces as “our army," NEPLP chairman Ivars Abolins said on Twitter.

The watchdog has also opened an administrative case against Dozhd, Abolins said, adding that the channel has already violated broadcasting rules twice in recent months. 

After three violations, the NEPLP has the right to revoke the channel’s broadcasting license.

Dozhd also came under criticism from Ukrainian journalists after its anchor Alexei Korostelev said on air Thursday that “we hope that we were able to help many soldiers, for example with equipment and basic amenities at the front.” 

The presenter had been calling on viewers to share their stories and experiences about Russia’s mobilization, which has been marked by widespread reports of chaos, administrative mistakes and a lack of training and equipment given to mobilized soldiers.

Dozhd editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko apologized to viewers for the mix-up on Friday, adding that the channel was not “helping” Russia’s army with equipment and that the “misleading” video was deleted.

Dozhd also announced on air that the anchor had been fired.

Latvia granted a broadcasting license to Dozhd in June after the channel — Russia’s only independent television station — was forced to suspend its operations in Russia over its coverage of the war in Ukraine.

This fall, Dozhd opened a broadcasting studio in Amsterdam in partnership with The Moscow Times.

Latvia, which was once part of the Soviet Union, has been one of Ukraine's staunchest allies throughout the Russian invasion.

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