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A radio station in Kamchatka suspends a talk show host for insulting Russian voters

Meduza

The Radio SV station in Kamchatka has suspended host Rosina Budansfrom its airwaves, pending an internal investigation into comments she made during her show earlier this week, when Budans said Russians endure a “stably lousy life,” and told listeners that “74 percent of the country are primates.” Unhappy with Sunday’s election results, Budans complained that “politicians are building castles abroad, while pensioners at home are dying from hunger and cold.” She also “conveyed a hello” to everyone who stuffed ballots on Election Day to inflate Putin’s support.

Budans later claimed that government officials called Radio SV’s management and demanded her suspension, but the radio station’s general director denies this. Both Budans and Radio SV subsequently apologized to any listeners who were offended by her remarks. The station published a statement on its website, clarifying that Budans’s remarks about ballot-stuffing were supposedly based on her misunderstanding of surveillance footage showing polling station officials testing — not tampering with — voting equipment.

This isn’t the first time a pundit has insulted millions of Russians

In June 2017, pro-Kremlin pundit Vladimir Solovyov said on his radio show on Vesti FM that Russians who participate in anti-government protests are the population’s “two-percent shit.” Valery Fedorov, the head of the pollster VTsIOM, later went on Dozhd television and clarified that “there’s actually a lot more shit” than just two percent. A group of miners in the Rostov region tried to sue Fedorov, demanding an apology, but the courts dismissed their case.