War in Ukraine: Russia Today channel suspends Russian propagandist who called for Ukrainian children to be drowned

This outing of rare violence earned him suspension from the air on Sunday, October 24. The propagandist Anton Krassovski had called for the killing of Ukrainian children, iThursday, in his show “Antonyms” broadcast on Russia Today’s YouTube channel. His interlocutor, the writer Sergei Lukyanenko, then evoked the case of Russian-speaking children, who considered Ukraine as occupied by Russia. “They should be drowned in the river Tysyna”, responded the host. Before adding, with a smile: “Or you put them in pine huts (smerekova) and burn them.”

The footage was widely shared on social media. The Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmitro Kuleba, notably took up the case to call for a ban of RT worldwide. “SIf you accept this channel in your country, it means that you support these comments”he had written to the attention of the governments which have not yet cut the broadcast of RT.Aggressive calls for genocide have nothing to do with free speech.”

Four days after the broadcast of this footage, Margarita Simonian, editor-in-chief of Russia Today (RT), finally announced the end of the collaboration with Anton Krassovsky, after these comments “disgusting”. The excerpt has also been removed from the media’s platforms. The chairman of the Russian Investigation Committee, Alexander Balystri, has also asked his teams to “check” the statements of the propagandist and to write a report. A deputy from United Russia, Dmitry Savelyev, also demanded severe sanctions against Anton Krassovskyaccused of “provide the enemy with a veritable informative nuclear bomb”.

“I’m so sorry for ignoring the line about children”, then wrote the interested party, in a short message. “I apologize to everyone who was shocked by this (…). I hope you will forgive me”, added this former opponent of Vladimir Putin and defender of LGBT rights, who had finally joined RT in October 2020, to defend a hard line there in coherence with the Kremlin. Last March, Anton Krassovsky had already wished “death of all Ukrainians”, in an interview broadcast by RT. Without making waves at the time.

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