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Russia's Dozhd TV Receives Dutch Broadcast License After Latvia Row

Dozhd TV studio in Amsterdam. MT

Dutch authorities have granted a broadcasting license to exiled Russian news channel Dozhd following Latvia’s decision to revoke its permit over disputed coverage of the Ukraine war.

A short statement on the Dutch Media Authority’s website published Dec. 22 said it “grants permission to TVR Studios B.V. as a commercial media institution.”

The license allows the Dutch-registered limited liability company “to provide a commercial television broadcasting service through a program channel called TV Rain.”

Broadcasting licenses in the Netherlands are valid for five years and must be renewed five months before expiration.

The statement surfaced as Latvian and Russian journalists reported Monday that Dozhd had received a Dutch broadcasting license.

Dozhd was one of several independent Russian media outlets that relocated to the Latvian capital of Riga after the Kremlin passed repressive wartime censorship laws in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. 

Latvia’s media regulator revoked Dozhd’s license in early December, half a year after first granting it, for posing “threats to national security and social order,” an accusation Dozhd’s editors disputed. 

Riga’s move followed a series of fines issued over the outlet’s coverage of the war in Ukraine, as well as a scandal over an anchor calling the Russian Armed Forces “our army” on air.

Latvia and the Netherlands are both members of NATO and the European Union. But Riga views Russia with more suspicion due to its five decades of Soviet rule, which Latvia and its fellow Baltic nations view as an occupation.

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

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