After its website was blocked by Russia during the invasion of Ukraine, Dozhd (or TV Rain) is ceasing to work.
"We need strength... to... understand what we can do from here," Natalya Sindeeva, the founder and CEO of the channel, stated in a statement according Reuters. "We really wish that we will return broadcasting and continue to our work." Also, the statement was posted to Twitter in Russian. The company's website has been taken down.
Russia's telecom regulator said TV Rain inciting extremism and abusing Russian citizens, causing massive disruption of public safety and calm, and encouraging protests according BBC News. The BBC shared videos of staff leaving the anchor desk at Thursday's broadcast.
This video was also shared widely on social media. Mikhail Zygar (journalist) was the channel's founder. He had previously posted an open letter that was signed by more than a dozen journalists, artists, and others critical of war and calling for its ending.
TV Rain isn't the only broadcast that was shut down by the Russian government's attempts to suppress coverage about Ukraine's invasion.
The prosecutor general's office blocked the Rain website. The site for Ekho Moskvy radio station was also blocked, Reuters reports. It was then that the station decided to close down.
On Telegram, Alexei Venediktov, Editor-in-Chief wrote that the Ekho Moskvy board had decided to dissolve the radio station and website. This station was Russia's last liberal media outlet.
Russia's parliament approved Friday a law that will punish those who deliberately spread fake news about the military with a 15-year sentence.
Russian officials have claimed that the U.S. and its allies spread misinformation regarding Russia, according Reuters. Already, the country's communication watchdog has blocked access to news outlets such as BBC, falsely claiming they spread false information.
BBC stated in a statement, that more Russians were turning to them to get information. Last week, bbc.com saw an increase of 252% to 423,000 visitors from Russia.
"It is often said that truth is the first casualty in war," stated Tim Davie, Director General of BBC. "In a conflict with disinformation and propaganda rampant, there is a clear requirement for factual, independent news people can trust. And in a significant development millions more Russians are turning towards the BBC.
Davie stated, "We will continue to give the Russian people access the truth in any way we can."
A spokesperson for BBC News stated that access to accurate and independent information was a fundamental human right that should not be denied Russians, millions of whom depend on BBC News each week. We will keep trying to make BBC News accessible in Russia and around the globe.