Kyiv’s foreign minister said the Russian broadcaster should be banned “worldwide.”
Ukraine accused the Russian state-controlled broadcaster RT of inciting genocide after a presenter said Ukrainian children who considered the Russians as occupiers under the Soviet Union should have been drowned.
Pro-war commentator Anton Krasovsky was speaking with sci-fi author Sergei Lukyanenko about the writer’s first trip to Ukraine in 1980, when local kids told him their lives would be better if Moscow wasn’t occupying their homeland.
“They should have been drowned in the Tysyna [river],” Krasovsky said. “Just drown those children, drown them.” He added that the children could have been forced into huts and burned.
During the same interview, Krasovsky also laughed about reports of elderly Ukrainian women being raped by Russian troops. “Those grannies would spend their burial savings to get raped by Russian soldiers,” he said.
When Lukyanenko commented that the “Soviet Union was seriously ill,” and that “Ukraine was one of its most affected parts,” Krasovsky said: “That’s because it’s not supposed to exist at all. Should Ukraine remain on the map of the world?”
Lukyanenko answered that it should stay on the map, because he wouldn’t want to live in the same country “with many of the people who will remain there.” “So we will shoot them,” Krasovsky replied.
Even by the standards of the most ardent Kremlin propagandists, Krasovsky’s comments evidently crossed a line.
The channel’s editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, suspended Krasovsky for his “disgusting” remarks, adding that they weren’t endorsed by anyone at RT.
On Monday, it was reported that Russia’s Investigative Committee—which handles serious crimes—announced that it had been asked to look into Krasovsky “sharp statements.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shared the clip on Twitter, calling for global censorship of the channel. “Governments which have still not banned RT must watch this excerpt,” Kuleba wrote. “Aggressive genocide incitement (we will put this person on trial for it), which has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Ban RT worldwide.”
Russian media outlets heavily controlled by the Kremlin have repeatedly backed the war in Ukraine since the invasion began in February. Krasovsky himself posted a video on his Telegram channel of him dancing in his pajamas on his balcony as Moscow launched a brutal series of strikes of civilian targets in Ukraine earlier in October.
On Monday, Krasovsky wrote on social media that he was “really embarrassed” about his recent comments. “Well, it happens: you’re on air, you get carried away,” he wrote. “And you can’t stop. I ask for the forgiveness of everyone who was stunned by this.”
In a statement posted on RT’s website, Simonyan wrote: “For the children of Ukraine, as well as 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.”
(c) Daily Beast 2022