A Russian TV network has suspended a gay rights activist turned Russian propagandist after he called for the murders of Ukrainian children.
Prior to his suspension, Anton Krasovsky worked as the director of Russian-language broadcasting on RT, a state-controlled TV network.
In a segment on the talk show, The Antonyms, Krasovsky spoke with science fiction writer Sergei Lukyanenko about Ukraine. Krasovsky denied the existence of the country, suggesting instead that many Russians had been forced to believe they were Ukrainian.
When Lukyanenko talked about visiting Ukraine and speaking with Ukrainian children, Krasovsky responded that they should have been drowned in the Tisza River.
Following the segment, the head of Russia’s investigative committee said the committee would look into Krasovsky’s comments and may open a criminal investigation, according to The Guardian.
In an unusual move, the editor-in-chief of RT, Margarita Simonyan, wrote a statement announcing that Krasovsky would be suspended from future appearances on RT, according to a translation by Yahoo News.
Simonyan, a close Putin ally and one of the faces of Russian propaganda, called Krasovsky’s comments “wild and revolting.”
Krasovsky posted an apology on Telegram Oct. 23, saying he crossed a line and got carried away, according to Yahoo News.
Krasovsky’s comments in the interview aren’t the first time he’s expressed anti-Ukrainian sentiments. On a segment earlier this year, he described Ukrainians as animals, according to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.
However, at one point Krasovsky held political views much more at odds with the Russian state.
According to CNN, in 2013, in an act of political resistance, Krasovsky announced he was gay on a live Kontr TV broadcast. In 2016, he founded a center to support Russian people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
In 2018, Krasovsky ran an unsuccessful campaign to be Moscow’s mayor. In an interview with The Daily Beast at the time, he said he preferred former U.S. president Barack Obama out of all politicians and described his political leanings as “social Democrat.”
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