Sky News 6th March 2014
Liz Wahl says she believes in “disseminating the truth” as she hits out at Russia Today’s coverage of the Ukraine crisis.
A presenter for a Russian government-funded TV channel has resigned live on air, after accusing the station of “whitewashing the actions” of Vladimir Putin.
Liz Wahl, a US anchor for Russia Today America, told viewers during the broadcast: “I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth and that is why after this newscast, I’m resigning.”
Her grandparents fled to the US as refugees during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution to escape the Soviet Union.
Moscow has been accused of invading Ukraine’s Crimea region after months of pro-European protests there saw the nation’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, ousted.
Russia denies this, claiming the troops operating there are “self-defence” forces who do not answer to Moscow.
In a statement on Ms Wahl’s actions, Russia Today 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.
“We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.”
Ms Wahl later tweeted: “I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support I have received.”
Another host from the channel criticised the actions of pro-Russian forces earlier this week.
Abby Martin labelled the intervention “wrong” and said she was “strongly against” military involvement.
The channel responded by saying Ms Martin “does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea” and that she would be sent there to “make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story”.