TV Rain declared ‘undesirable organization’
The channel “discredits Russian government bodies, law enforcement agencies and disseminates false information about the special military operation [the War, Editor’s note],” a statement from the Prosecutor General’s Office says.
TV Rain has been operating in exile since Putin launched the full-scale war on Ukraine last winter. The journalists first worked out of Riga, but moved to Amsterdam in December after Latvia’s media authority revoked the broadcasting license.
The newsroom says it had 13 million viewers in Russia last month.
“However, our priority is the safety of our audience. For this reason, we are cancelling existing subscriptions from Russians,” TV Rain writes in a tweet.
The law on undesirable organizations has been expanded several times and can be used to hinder any foreign or international organization that allegedly undermines Russia’s constitutional order, military, or security.
When blacklisted, any “undesirable organization” must cease all activities in Russia or face criminal sanctions.
A 2021 amendment to the law makes it easier to open criminal cases for people affiliated with an undesirable organization. Offenses carry a punishment of up to six years in prison.
Meduza was first media to be declared ‘undesirable’ earlier this year. Next out was Novaya Gazeta Europa, the Riga-based newsroom of the independent outlet.
Several environmental groups have also got the branding, including the Norwegian Bellona Foundation, Greenpeace and World Wide Fund for Nature.
Russia’s list of ‘undesirable organizations’ now includes 101 entities.