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Russian TV Host Who Slammed Moscow Says She Won't Go To Crimea

The Kremlin-backed Russia Today television channel says a program host who delivered a show-closing commentary denouncing Moscow's intervention in Ukraine will be sent to Crimea to "make up her own mind." But the anchor herself begs to differ.

Washington, D.C.-based, Abby Martin, an American who works for English-language RT America, spoke frankly at the end of her Breaking the Set program on Monday about the Ukraine situation.

"Just because I work here does not mean that I don't have editorial independence," she said. "And I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs."

She said what Moscow was doing "is wrong," adding: "Admittedly, I don't know as much as I should about Ukraine's history, the cultural dynamics of the region. But what I do know is that military intervention is never the answer."

In a statement Tuesday to the Huffington Post, RT America said "there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin."

"Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn't beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air," the statement said.

Instead, the statement noted that because Martin herself had acknowledged her ignorance of the "reality of the situation in Crimea," the network would be "sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicenter of the story."

On her Facebook page and Twitter feed, however, Martin insisted she was not going to Crimea after all.

She tweeted Tuesday afternoon that "I am not going to Crimea despite the statement RT has made" and echoed that sentiment on Facebook.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.