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Pro-Kremlin channel news anchors refuse to lend their faces to the war agenda

Russian news anchors Maria Gladkikh (Russia 24) and Stanislav Kulik (Moscow 24) refused to appear on the screen after Russia went to war with Ukraine. Journalist Roman Super has shared their decision on his Telegram channel.

“No one is firing them. But Maria got permission to stay away from the war agenda. Her superiors have applied this policy to other female news anchors as well: if you want to stay off-screen for a while, you are free to do so,” Super writes about Gladkikh.

He previously reported the resignation of Elena Arkhipetskaya, managing editor at Moscow 24. After Russia invaded Ukraine, state-owned broadcasting companies faced a barrage of resignations. Journalists aren’t the only ones distancing themselves from pro-Kremlin channels: entertainment show hosts and quiz participants are following suit.

On April 21, comedian Alexander Gurevich, who hosted Sto k Odnomu [A Hundred to One], left the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK). Shortly before, his account was used to post anti-war comments below the YouTube recordings of his show. In March, two more high-profile resignations became public: Zhanna Agalakova of Channel One and journalist Vadim Glusker of NTV. NTV anchor Lilia Gildeeva, who also resigned and left the country after Russia attacked Ukraine, told The Insider how state-controlled channels stick to playbooks from the very top.

On March 14, Channel One employee Marina Ovsyannikova burst onto the set of a live news broadcast with a banner “No war. Stop the war. Do not trust Propaganda. They are lying to you. Russians against war”. She also released a pre-recorded video in which she condemned the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine's territory. On March 15, she got a 30,000 ruble (~$420) fine. In April, German media brand Die Welt hired her as a freelance correspondent.

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