One of the many things former President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have in common is their love of TV. Both men pay close attention to what the media is saying about them on a daily basis, which is why this latest protest against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine must really sting.
While the early days of the war saw Kremlin-sanctioned on-air reporters literally calling for champagne to celebrate the killing of Ukrainian citizens, now journalists are speaking out against Putin’s regime. After a producer at Russia’s state-run Channel One crashed a live news report to condemn the war, holding up a sign that read “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here,” another on-air personality has quit because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Lilia Gildeyeva, a 15-year on-air veteran at the once-independent news channel known as NTV, announced her resignation after fleeing the country. Gildeyeva told an independent journalist of her decision to leave the network, explaining she wanted to get out of Russia before telling her bosses that she intended to quit out of fear that she might be detained or worse.
“I left [Russia] first because I was afraid they would not let me go just like that, then I submitted my resignation,” she said, according to The Wrap.
Russia has given news anchors strict instructions about how they report on the situation in Ukraine, forbidding them to use words like “war” and “invasion” when referring to the conflict and passing new laws that crackdown on those spreading “fake news” about Putin’s campaign. The producer who held up the sign condemning the Kremlin could face prison time, so Gildeyeva’s fears probably weren’t misplaced.
Still, the news will likely come as a blow to Putin who’s built his career off of controlling the media, using news organizations as his personal propaganda machines. Apparently, Gildeyeva was one of the president’s favorite TV personalities. She was included in a list of journalists he thanked for their achievements in mass media in 2021 and Putin personally thanked her in 2008 for the reporting she did, crediting her with furthering the goal of a united Russia.
(Via The Wrap)