RIGA - Russian independent broadcaster TV Rain (Dozhd) will never doubt the fact that Russia is the aggressor in the war against Ukraine, TV Rain editor-in-chief Tikhon Dzyadko admitted at a news conference on Friday.
He emphasized that the media stands against the war waged by Russia and hopes that their work in spreading the truth will at least to some extent help to bring its end sooner. ''TV Rain, the Latvian journalist community and politicians are on the same side - on the side of light and good," assessed Dzyadko.
Asked if, in his opinion, the negative statements of the so-called Russian liberal opposition against Latvia in recent days do not do a "disservice" to the future work of TV Rain, Dzyadko stated that he would not like to get involved in discussions about the comments of certain people, but emphasized that thanks to Latvia, more than 200 journalists who fled to here can live and work in safety. He also emphasized that in the last few days, the situation around TV Rain "exploded" with completely unnecessary discussions and insults on social media.
"Someone pulls out some tweets from 2014, turns them upside down. It's all meaningless fluff - here I'm talking about the segment of Russian social networks. I would be happy if all of us - the segment of Russian social networks - carried out investigations, reports, interviews and disseminate true information with the same effort about what is happening in the world, in order to tell more and more people the truth," Dzyadko said.
He emphasized that the TV Rain team is very grateful to the Latvian government, which gave the media a helping hand in such a difficult situation, which TV Rain found itself in in March. "Our position and gratitude have not remained smaller even now after the events of the last week," he added.
"I am sure that TV Rain does not pose a threat to national security and public order to Latvia, and its individual employees do not pose a threat to Latvia either. I think that TV Rain and Latvia are on the same side in this war. TV Rain will never doubt, who is the victim and who is the aggressor in this war. Russia is the aggressor," Dzyadko emphasized.
The media is grateful to the Association of Latvian Journalists for the opinion published these days, stressing that the support of colleagues is always important, moreover, it shows that, in the opinion of journalists, TV Rain is not a "propaganda mouthpiece".
TV Rain employees would like to stay in Latvia if there is such an opportunity, stated the editor-in-chief of the media.
"I love Latvia very much. Until the moment we moved here, I had been to Latvia many times. All of us TV Rain employees changed several countries from March to July - I was in Istanbul, in many apartments in Georgia. When we came here, we gained some kind of stability, we found homes, educational institutions for the children. People want this stability to be preserved. And of course we don't want to tear the children out of the existing environment for the fourth time and transfer them from place to place. It is important for us to be here legally, to live and work," emphasized Dzyadko.
Sabine Sile, member of the board of The Fix Media foundation and emergency support coordinator of Media Hub Riga, told the press conference that D-category visas are issued for humanitarian reasons to people who have come to Latvia.
"None of us expected that the war would drag on, so at the beginning a solution was found with C-category visas, which is a short-term solution. With the amendments to the Immigration Law, temporary residence permits (TUA) can no longer be issued to citizens of Russia and Belarus, nor can work visas be issued," Sile explained.
She reminded that TUA can be issued by the Minister of the Interior, but it requires a political decision. In the current conditions, it is essential to look for stable long-term solutions, because a person with a D-type visa cannot plan his or her life.
Sile emphasized that the TV Rain team does not apply for the status of refugees, even though such a status would also allow receiving various benefits. "They want to work and make a contribution, and we have to allow it. We don't have to love them," Sile said, revealing that the journalists currently have D-category visas.