Deutsche Welle (DW) is relocating the journalistic operations previously based in Moscow to Latvia following the closure of its Moscow studio and the withdrawal of its staff’s accreditation by the Russian government.
The infrastructure for broadcasting operations will be set up in the coming weeks in Riga and Yuri Rescheto, previously DW bureau chief Moscow, will be head of DW’s new foreign location.
Commenting on the development, DW DG Peter Limbourg said: “We continue to take all the technical and organizational measures possible to provide our audience in Russia and around the world with critical information. We remain committed to providing independent and objective reporting. Even though our website and most social media channels have been blocked by the Putin government in recent days, people in Russia can find a variety of ways to circumvent censorship”.
DW editor-in-chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge added: “From Germany, Ukraine, neighbouring European countries and now soon also from Riga, we provide our audience in Russia with comprehensive and sustainable information about the war in Ukraine. Latvia offers geographical proximity to Russia, and the vibrant media landscape in the Baltic countries now creates optimal conditions for our team and reporting”.
DW notes that on February 3 the Russian government banned it from broadcasting in the country, citing as a reason Germany’s ban on the German-language channel of Russian state TV network RT DE. The following day, staff at DW’s Moscow studio had to hand in their press accreditations. The Russian Foreign Ministry also announced an investigation into whether DW should be classified as a foreign agent.