Dimitry Kiselyov, an ultra-conservative news anchor, has been appointed by President Vladimir Putin to control all resources for Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), as well as become the new chief executive of 2,300 employees, removable only by Putin himself.
Kiselyov is known for his weekly news program that bashes homosexuality, speculate about Western-led conspiracies and his belief that, “[homosexuals] hearts, in case of an accident, should be buried in the ground or burned because they are unsuitable for a continuation of life.” However, once Rossiya Segodnya started airing coverage of the anti-Putin protest, the government became uncomfortable and appointed Kiselyov.
Nothing seems to be off limits for Kiselyov. Last year he ran footage of Nazi marches, and compared Hilter to activist Alexei Navalny, who was running for mayor of Moscow. He even showed a clip called “Poop and Pee” on a children’s program to teach kids about bodily functions, then turn to the camera “to suggest this was the kind of European decadence awaiting Ukraine, if it signed a deal with the EU.”
Though officials say appointing Kiselyov is just to make the company run smoothly, Sergei Ivanov, Kremlin chief of staff, said, “Russia…strongly defends its national interests: it’s difficult to explain this to the world but we can do this, and we must do this.”