After calling on air for the drowning and burning of Ukrainian children four days ago, RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan announced on Oct. 24 that the network has suspended host Anton Krasovsky.
Krasovsky—a pro-war presenter who is subject to EU sanctions—said Ukrainian children should be “thrown straight into a river with a strong current” or “burned in a hut” for calling Russians occupiers.
In an interview on Oct. 20 for the program “Antonyms”, Russian science fiction author Sergei Lukyanenko described his encounter with anti-Russian children while visiting Ukraine in the 1980s. Krasovsky’s remarks were in response to that account. He advocated the execution of Ukrainian children who had been the targets of propaganda.
Simonyan rejected his controversial comments which led to his suspension. She also disassociated the network from Krasovsky’s divisive remarks.
“Anton Krasovsky’s comments were wild and disgusting. Perhaps Anton will explain what kind of temporary insanity caused them and why they came out of his mouth. It’s hard to believe that Krasovsky sincerely believed that children should be drowned,” she stated on Telegram.
Krasovsky wrote in his own words that he is “truly embarrassed,” adding “sometimes it happens like this: you’re on the air and you get carried away and you can’t stop.”
In his apology, he claimed he “didn’t see the boundary.”
Although clips from the episode are still available online, RT deleted its recording of it after Krasovsky’s remarks started drawing criticism.
In contrast to the frequent anti-Ukrainian rhetoric on Russian state television, Simonyan’s unusual punishment of an on-air personality for remarks on Ukraine is noteworthy.
Kremlin-controlled media outlets, such as RT, actively support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and repeat its denials of accusations of war crimes.
The Investigative Committee, Russia’s leading investigative agency, announced on Monday, Oct. 24, that its chairman Alexander Bastrykin has requested a report into Krasovsky’s statements in response to an online user’s complaint.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, condemned what she called a “targeted information attack” against Krasovsky in a post that has since been deleted. She referred to the RT host as a “fantastically talented” commentator of “obvious and truthful” information.