Dmitry Kiselev is a Russian media personality and the star of the Russian state television company RT. Russian president Vladimir Putin appointed Kiselev head of RT in December 2013. RT replaced what had been Russia’s largest news agency, RIA Novosti, which Putin disbanded.
Considered an influential television host in Russia, Kiselev uses his bully pulpit to support Putin while delegitimizing his detractors.
Here are six of Kiselev’s most outrageous gems:
1. “Russia is the only country in the world capable of turning the U.S.A. into radioactive dust,” Kiselev said on his evening news show in Moscow before a backdrop showing a huge mushroom cloud, soon after a referendum in Russian-occupied Crimea produced a 97 percent result in favor of having the former Soviet oblast rejoin Russia.
2. “I think that just imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda among teenagers is not enough,” Kiselev advised in another show. “They should be banned from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life.”
In a translated interview with CBC News in January, Kiselev limns various aspects of the greatness of the Russian national character:
3. “A new Russian culture has to be created. Of course, using the past as a foundation, even if the past isn’t a common value. For some, the Soviet past was good, for some the Tsarist past.”
4. “TV is a substitute for the great Russian literature. It plays a formative role, has the formative effect on the Russian character. It takes the baton from Dostoyevsky and other classical writers.”
5. “It is very strange for me because when Obama came to the meeting for the G20 he preferred to spend more time meeting with the gay community than with Putin. In reality, the gay community lives better than ever under Putin. Better than in Brezhnev, Khrushchev, or Stalin times. As far as the gay community in the U.S.A., I’m not sure it’s all so good there.”
Kiselev also gave his views recently on Putin’s American counterpart, showing that outrageous doesn’t always mean wrong:
6. “The U.S. is also in need of a strong leader. Obama unfortunately is not a strong leader and that is why that country is in the situation in which it is now.”
— Alec Torres is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.