Russia Today anchor accused of inciting genocide after saying Ukrainian children should have been drowned | world news

Russia Today has been accused of inciting genocide after a presenter said that Ukrainian children, whom Moscow’s forces saw as occupiers under the Soviet Union, should have been drowned.

Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the state-controlled Russian news channel, said host Anton Krasovsky had been suspended for his “disgusting comments”.

Ms. Simonyan added no one Russia Today (RT) shared Mr Krasovsky’s views.

On his show, which aired last week, Mr Krasovsky said children who criticized Russia should have been “thrown straight into a river with a strong current”.

Mr. Krasovsky is a war commentator on Russian television sanctioned by the European Union.

He was responding to an account by Russian science fiction writer Sergei Lukyanenko of how when he first visited Ukraine In the 1980s, children told him that if Moscow did not occupy their country, they would have a better life.

“They should have drowned in the Tysyna (river),” replied Mr. Krasovsky. “Just drown these children, drown them.” Alternatively, he said, they could be shoved into huts and burned.

In a brief segment of the interview on social media, Mr. Krasovsky also laughed at reports that Russian soldiers raped elderly Ukrainian women during the invasion.

“Governments that still haven’t banned RT need to see this excerpt,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter, linking to a clip of the interview.

“Aggressive incitement to genocide (we will bring this person to justice) that has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Ban RT globally,” Mr Kuleba added.

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Russian state television, heavily controlled by the Kremlin, has been a vocal cheerleader of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Moderators have routinely dismissed reports of Russian war crimes, and many have used the airtime to urge President Vladimir Putin to take even more aggressive action against the invasion.

The Kremlin denies that its troops committed war crimes in Ukraine.

In a statement on the channel’s website, Ms Simonyan added: “For the children of Ukraine, as well as the children of Donbass and all other children, I wish that all this will end as soon as possible and they can live and study there in peace again – in the language they consider their mother tongue.”

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