WATCH: RT Anchor Resigns On-Air Over Ukraine Crisis
An American anchor at a Russian state-owned news agency announced her resignation on air yesterday. Liz Wahl, formerly of RT, said Russia’s recent actions and her position at the network conflicted with her journalistic goal to “disseminate the truth.”
“As a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges especially me personally coming from a family whose grandparents- my grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet forces [...] I’m very lucky to have grown up here in the United States. I’m the daughter of a veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base where he sees every day the first-hand accounts of the ultimate prices that people pay for this country. And that is why personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast I’m resigning.”
Wahl’s announcement comes just days after RT pundit Abby Martin denounced Russia’s invasion of Crimea. (Martin did not resign.) The military intervention was in reaction to protesters and the Ukrainian parliament ousting Russian-backed President Victor Yanukovych. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is protecting ethnic Russians in the region.
Wahl later told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that her former network was more about “promoting a Putinist agenda” and “bashing America” than about truth. In a statement, RT called her move “nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”
Russia Today was founded by the Kremlin in 2005 to improve the nation’s image abroad. Over time, that mission has come to include being more critical of the West.