Today Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he has abolished the official state news agency RIA Novosti. You may recall that I’ve excerpted RIA Novosti on several recent occasions and have noted the agency’s even-handed reporting of LGBT stories. BBC News reports:
In a surprise decree published on the Kremlin’s website on Monday, Mr Putin announced it would be replaced by a news agency called Russia Today. The new agency will be headed by journalist and keen Kremlin supporter Dmitry Kiselev. The state-owned Voice of Russia radio station has also been closed. The decree was effective immediately. For many Kremlin critics in Russia, that phrase suggests this is a sinister move by President Putin, says the BBC’s Daniel Sandford in Moscow. During Mr Putin’s time as Russia’s leader, RIA Novosti has tried hard to produce balanced coverage for Russian and international audiences, our correspondent says. Although state-owned, it has reflected the views of the opposition and covered difficult topics for the Kremlin, our correspondent adds.
MAJOR UPDATE: Reading the above story, I didn’t make the connection about Dmitry Kiselev, the television anchor Putin today appointed to run the new official state news agency. Back in August, I reported that Kiseley broadcast a show in which he declared that gay bashing victims deserve their fate.
“Our [Russian] problem with homosexuals is that they behave in a provocative, victim-like way. They deliberately provoke situations, so that they become victims. Nobody prevents them from loving each other the way they want to. They are aggressively foisting minority’s values on the majority. It is likely that society would counteract this. Naturally, right? In various ways, including brutal ones. Since they are brutally foisting this [on others]. Wanna fight? Get it, then. So what?”
One week prior to the above show, Kiselev declared that if any gay person is involved in a car accident, “their hearts should be burned” rather than used as organ donations. Today’s news is far more chilling that I first imagined.