With opposition against the invasion of Ukraine growing daily among ordinary Russians, Putin’s propagandists are going to ever-greater lengths to drum up anti-Ukrainian hatred.
But some of them are finding that, even in Putin’s Russia, you can go too far.
Propagandist Anton Krasovsky has been fired from the state-run RT channel after a shocking discussion with Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko.
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Krasovsky said that Ukrainian children who believe the territory of Ukraine is occupied by Russia should be drowned in a fast-flowing river or burned alive.
Lukyanenko, who has previously said he wouldn’t allow his novels to be translated into Ukrainian, joked with Lukyanenko about raping Ukrainian grandmothers and said Ukrainian children should be herded into buildings and then set alight.
Margarita Simonyan, head of RT, announced the following day Krasovsky would no longer be appearing on the channel.
“The statement of Anton Krasovsky is wild and disgusting,” she said. “Perhaps Anton will explain what kind of temporary insanity caused those words to come from his mouth.
"It is hard to believe that Krasovsky sincerely believed that children should be drowned. At the moment, I am stopping our cooperation, because neither I nor the rest of the RT team can allow even the thought that one of us is capable of sharing such a joke.”
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Meanwhile, Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov claimed on another Russian TB discussion programme that Ukraine was preparing to detonate a nuclear warhead in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv.
Speaking on state TV, he said: "There is already a thermonuclear charge in Mykolaiv which will be designated for use in a provocation.
"One can assume that the explosion of that charge against the background of NATO and the US's constant claims that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons, on the eve of that offensive or during that offensive in order to say that because Russia is suffering defeat."
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"It has conducted a strike on Ukrainian forces which will end in tens of thousands of civilian deaths," Sivkov added.
"This will allow the USA to justify large-scale missile strikes on the territory, on our troops in those regions and on Russian territory.”
After Ukraine left the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian Government gave up its nuclear deterrent, so far the only state to do so.
Three years later the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Britain and the United States signed an agreement to protect Ukraine against any aggression in recognition of its new status as a non-nuclear state.
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