Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT has been accused of inciting genocide after a star presenter said that Ukrainian kids should be drowned or burned alive.
Anton Krasovsky made the repulsive proposals after a guest recalled Ukrainian kids complaining to him about Russian occupiers as far back as Soviet times in the 1980s.
“They should have been drowned in the Tysyna (river),” Krasovsky said of the children.
“Right there, where the ducklings swim — just drown those children, drown them,” he said, staring straight into the camera and pointing a finger.
“Just throw them in the river with a strong undercurrent,” he said — and then suggested an alternative: “shove them right into” huts and “burn them up.”
In the same interview, Krasovsky laughed off reports that invading troops were raping elderly women, saying that “those Ukrainian grannies would spend their burial savings to get raped by Russian soldiers.”
A clip of his comments, seen nearly 3 million times on Twitter by Monday, sparked widespread condemnation and calls for the state-funded station to be banned.
“Governments which still have not banned RT must watch this excerpt,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted along with the clip.
He called it “aggressive genocide incitement … which has nothing to do with freedom of speech,” while promising to prosecute the presenter.
“Ban RT worldwide!” he demanded.
RT’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, later said that Krasovsky had been suspended for his “wild and disgusting” comments, blaming them on “temporary insanity.”
Krasovsky apologized later Monday, insisting he was “really embarrassed” and asking for forgiveness.
“Well, it happens: You’re on air, you get carried away. And you can’t stop,” Krasovsky said on his Telegram page, admitting it was “tasteless.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee, which looks into serious crimes, said it had ordered a report into his “sharp comments” after a viewer complained.
Russian state television, heavily controlled by the Kremlin, has been a vocal cheerleader for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, often calling for even more extreme actions.
Krasovsky has long been among them, having previously said on air that Ukraine “should not exist, and we are doing everything to make sure it does not.”
With Post wires