Russian TV anchor quits live on air over Ukraine

London, March 6: A day after an anchor of a Russian-funded TV channel criticised the country’s intervention in Ukraine live on air, another presenter of the same channel has quit on air, accusing the network of “whitewashing” Moscow’s military intervention in the Crimea.

Liz Wahl, a Washington-based correspondent for the English version of the Russia Today, said in her live resignation that she could no longer work for a network that “whitewashes the actions of Putin”, media reported Thursday.

“I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I’m resigning,” the Guardian quoted Wahl as saying.

Claiming that she was a daughter of a military veteran and the wife of a military base physician, Wahl said the network’s coverage of a potentially explosive crisis caused ethical and moral dilemmas.

Wahl’s resignation comes on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin’s recent comments in which she spoke out against policies of the Russian government on Ukraine.

“Just because I work here, for RT (Russia Today), doesn’t mean I don’t have editorial independence, and I can’t stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations’ affairs,” the Telegraph quoted Martin as saying in the programme ‘Breaking the Set’.

“I can’t say enough how strongly I am against any state intervention in a sovereign nation’s affairs. What Russia did is wrong,” Martin said.

“When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organisation, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional.”

“But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt,” the channel said in a statement on its website following the resignation of the anchor.

“Martin has been speaking out against the US military intervention, only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets – but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation,” the statement added.

IANS