Alexei Zhuravlyov, a member of the Russian House of Representatives and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently threatened to kill a German journalist covering the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Kremlin has cracked down on press and free speech in Russia and has spoken out against the war it faces persecution. Meanwhile, Kremlin-backed television has become an important distributor of pre-war propaganda, which often addresses threats to Western powers.
Appearing on a Russian news program 60 minutes, Zhuravlyov, head of the pro-Putin Rodina party, made threats against Björn Stritzel, a reporter for the German news agency Bild, who reported on the war from Ukraine. A video of his remarks was posted to Twitter on Saturday by Julia Davis, a journalist who monitors Russian propaganda.
“Never mind, I want to say to this Nazi: B****, we’re all coming and we’re going to kill you all,” he said in a video translated by Davis.
However, his remarks received backlash from Russian state television host Evgeny Popov, who scolded him for “blackmailing people on our show.”
“They are journalists. They are propaganda, but let’s not be like that. Let’s not kill anyone,” he said.
Still, Zhuravlyov said he “didn’t care too much” about threatening to kill journalists. The intentional targeting and killing of journalists, who are generally considered civilians, is considered a violation of international humanitarian law. Russia faces allegations of war crimes, including targeted attacks, and dozens of organizations are investigating alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces.
In a statement to newsweek, Stritzel condemned threats by Russian lawmakers.
“It says a lot that Russian society puts on such a wacky show as mainstream news. The threats against Westerners like me are good laughs, but these pathetic clowns It is more important to remember that the regime that employs them is torturing and killing Ukrainians, imprisoning brave Russian journalists like Vladimir Karamurza every day or murdering them like Anna Politkovskaya. ,” he wrote.
The Bild host accused Zhuravlyov of threatening his host during his broadcast.
“We were stunned here when we saw what the Russian propaganda was doing and how they were talking about our great correspondent,” said one host. Front line of defense.
Journalists killed in Ukraine war
Several Ukrainian and foreign journalists have been killed since the invasion. Russian forces have been accused of executing Max Levin, a reporter for the Ukrainian news agency Left Bank. According to an investigation into his death conducted by the organization Reporters Without Borders, Russian forces may have tortured him before killing him.
Other journalists to be killed in Ukraine include US filmmaker Brett Renault, who was shot dead by Russian forces outside Kyiv. Evheny Sakun, a Ukrainian cameraman killed when Russian troops shelled Kyiv’s TV tower. Fox News photographer Pierre Zakrzewski has died after his car was set on fire outside Kyiv. Russian journalist Oksana Baulina murdered in Kyiv. Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedalavicius murdered in Mariupol. French journalist Frédéric Leclerc Imhof was killed while covering the evacuation of civilians in the Luhansk region.
Newsweek I asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.