Russia Today sacks presenter who calls for kids to be drowned, but has no problem with calls to genocide against Ukraine
Anton Krasovsky has seemingly lost his position as broadcasting director for the state funded Russia Today [RT] channel, after a talk show in which he proposed that Ukrainian children be drowned and burned. He also claimed that elderly Ukrainians wanted to be raped, that Ukraine had no right to exist and that those with whom it would be difficult to share one country should be shot. None of this, however, was anything especially unusual and did not arouse chief Kremlin propagandist Margarita Simonyan’s indignation.
Krasovsky (like Simonyan) has been a mouthpiece for Kremlin anti-Ukrainian hysteria since well before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It is always clear that he expresses the views required of him, and it seems possible that the scandal this time was also staged. Yes, in theory, the Investigative Committee has initiated an ‘investigation’, but it is difficult to take this seriously when calls to kill all Ukrainians, to nuke Ukrainian cities, etc. are regularly heard on state-controlled television.
During , Krasovsky was speaking with the Russian science fiction writer Sergei Lukyanenko. The latter claimed that he was first in Ukraine, as a child in 1980, and that he heard Russian-speaking Ukrainian children talking about Ukraine being occupied by ‘moskali’ [a derogatory term for Russians]. Krasovsky jumped in with his ‘proposal’ that such children be drowned, thrown in the river where the current is strong. Lukyanenko retorts that ‘birching’ was a more traditional method in Russia, but Krasovsky ignores this, pouring out some more hate speech, suggesting that Ukrainians (not just children) be locked in their huts and burned. It is difficult to believe that this lavishly paid state propagandist just “got carried away” (as he has since claimed). He very clearly and deliberately directs the conversation to the assertion that Ukraine should not exist, and asks, as he evidently planned to do, whether Ukraine should remain a separate country. When Lukyanenko says that yes, Ukraine should remain a separate country, as there would be a lot of people with whom “one wouldn’t want to live in one state”. Krasovsky’s response is swift, “we’ll shoot them”.
Simonyan, as general director of Russia Today, on 24 October, calling Krasovsky’s comment “savage and disgusting” and saying that “at the present moment” she is stopping his employment at Russia Today. It is, however, clear from her words that she is referring only to his comments about killing children, and she takes the opportunity to pretend concern for all children and wish that “all this” should end.
Neither she, Krasovsky, nor any other employee of Russia Today, have ever suggested that ‘all of this’ is caused by Russia bombing and invading Ukrainian territory. Since Russia is systematically attacking civilian targets, all of those who support such aggression, including on state media, are effectively condoning the killing of innocent children.
Krasovsky was heard back in January this year claiming that Ukraine is Russian land that Russia will ‘take back’ by force. On that occasion, Krasovsky was speaking with Aleksandr Baunov, a senior fellow from the Carnegie Moscow Center. On the subject of joining NATO, Krasovsky addressed the following tirade at Ukrainians:
“No, we’ll send troops into Ukraine, it’s our land. Fuck you! That’s what you’ll get [making an indecent gesture], not NATO! Don’t even dream of it, animals!
He continues, denying that there is any Ukraine, saying that it is “our Russian land”, etc. This was a month before his paymasters launched their full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainians have proven Krasovsky wrong in categorically not running up to the invaders, welcoming them, but Krasovsky has continued to push such narrative.
So too has Simonyan and the channel she heads. She has on at least two occasions effectively admitted that Russia is ‘pinning its hopes’ on causing famine and proposing that Russia only ‘share’ the harvest it has plundered in Ukraine with countries who ‘behave themselves’ and support Russia and its aggression.
On 31 July, Russia killed 75-year-old Oleksiy Opanasovych Vadatursky and his wife in one of the multiple attacks on civilian targets. The death of these two elderly Ukrainians was widely reported because Vadatursky was the General Director of the agricultural company Nibulon, one of Ukraine’s richest businessmen and a person who had done a huge amount for his native Mykolaiv. Within hours of the missile strike, Simonyan the news of Vadatursky death, together with foul lies, from ‘ ’, a notorious pro-Kremlin propagandist. that this killing of elderly civilians constituted 'denazification in action'
Krasovsky, Simonyan and all those playing an active role in Russia’s information warfare are parroting the incitement to genocide heard from Putin, and others in power, It is no accident that Krasovsky’s question regarding whether Ukraine should exist on the map essentially repeated the suggestion from Dmitry Medvedev, close Putin crony (former nominal ‘Russian president’): “Who says that in two years, Ukraine will exist at all on the world map?”
In May 2022, over 30 human rights lawyers and scholars warned that there was a serious risk of Russian genocide in Ukraine. They study devoted considerable attention to the incitement to genocide from both Russia’s leaders and the state media, like Russia Today (more details and a link to the report here).