The U.S.-based Russia TV news channel host who criticized Russia's takeover of Crimea and then subsequently was assigned to cover the story in the embattled region has refused the assignment.
Shortly before wrapping up her show on Monday evening, "Breaking the Set," on the multilingual Russia Today (RT) network, Abby Martin announced she, “wanted to say something from my heart about the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s military occupation of Crimea."
“What Russia did is wrong,” said Martin, while pacing her Washington, D.C. TV studio.
“I admittedly don’t know as much about Ukraine’s history or the cultural dynamics of the region, but what I do know is that military intervention is never the answer, and I will not sit here and apologize or defend military aggression.”
Working for the station funded by the Russian government and broadcast in around 100 countries, would not compromise her editorial independence, she said.
“Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence. And I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations' affairs."
Hours later, a colleague confirmed that the anchor, Martin, had been assigned to cover the Ukraine story for the network in Crimea. Her assignment was first reported by Huffington Post.
But according to a tweet from Martin, she has refused to go.
Signing off on Monday she vowed to keep telling the truth as she saw it, and promised to return to the show that RT describes as cutting "through the pre-written narrative that tries to tell you what to think and what to care about" on Tuesday.
The show is scheduled to air again at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday.
First published March 4 2014, 2:28 AM