Ukraine Urges Russia’s Global RT Ban Over Anchor’s Call To Drown Children

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Oct 23 (Reuters) – Ukraine on Sunday branded Russian state broadcaster RT an instigator of genocide after a presenter said Ukrainian children who saw Russians as occupiers under the Soviet Union should have been drowned.

Within hours, Margarita Simonyan, the channel’s editor-in-chief, said she had suspended the presenter, Anton Krasovsky, due to his “disgusting” comments, adding that no one at RT shared her views.

On his show broadcast last week, Krasovsky said children criticizing Russia should have been “thrown directly into a river with a strong current.”

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Krasovsky is a pro-war commentator on Russian television who has been sanctioned by the European Union.

He was responding to an account by Russian science fiction author Sergei Lukyanenko about how, when he first visited Ukraine in the 1980s, children told him they would have a better life if Moscow did not occupy their country.

“They should have drowned in the Tysyna (river),” Krasovsky said in response. “Just drown those kids, drown them.” Alternatively, he said, they could be pushed into shacks and burned.

In a short segment of the interview on social media, Krasovsky also laughed at reports that Russian soldiers had raped elderly Ukrainian women during the invasion.

“Governments that have not yet banned RT should see this excerpt,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter, linking to a clip of the interview.

“Aggressive incitement to genocide (we will prosecute this person for it), which has nothing to do with freedom of expression. Ban RT worldwide,” Kuleba added.

Russian state television, heavily controlled by the Kremlin, has been a vocal cheerleader for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Broadcasters have routinely dismissed reports of Russian war crimes and many have used airtime to call on President Vladimir Putin to take an even more aggressive approach to the invasion.

The Kremlin denies that its forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

In a statement on the channel’s website, Simonyan added: “For the children of Ukraine, as well as for the children of Donbas and all other children, I wish that all this ends as soon as possible and they can live and study in peace.” again, in the language they consider native”.

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Information from Reuters; Edited by Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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