RT Journalist Resigns On-Air In Protest of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

What's the point of having a government-funded propaganda network if your journalists refuse to accept the party line?

That's a question Russian President Vladimir Putin is probably asking himself right about now. On Wednesday, Liz Wahl, an anchor for the Kremlin-funded RT network, resigned on air to protest Russia's invasion of Crimea. "Personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government which whitewashes the actions of Putin," Wahl said on air. 

The full video of her resignation is here: 

In reporting on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, RT has dutifully repeated Moscow's propaganda, arguing that its military actions in Crimea come in response to the repression ethnic Russians face on the peninsula. In the network's view, Russia's intervention in Ukraine constitutes a legitimate response to the borderline fascism of the revolutionary government in Kiev, which last month deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. (Just have a look at the chyron displayed during Wahl's resignation: "Ultra-nationalists take center stage during Ukraine crisis.")

But this was apparently too much for Wahl, who cited her own family's persecution at the hands of the former Soviet Union in saying that she could no longer work for a network funded by and supportive of the Russian government. "My grandparents came to here as refugees during the Hungarian Revolution, ironically to escape the Soviet Union," Wahl said.

Wahl is the second RT journalist in recent days to flout the network's editorial line on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Abby Martin, a presenter on the network, denounced Russia's actions in Ukraine. "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 state intervention in a sovereign nation's affairs," Martin said. "What Russia did is wrong."  



Civil War Came to London, and You Won't Believe What This Little Girl Did Next

Actually, you will. After her neighborhood turned into a war zone, she fled along with her parents. They became refugees, scavenging for food and dodging gun fire. They became sick, and their diseases went untreated. The family was split up, the father forcibly separated from his wife and child at a checkpoint. The little girl's hair began to fall out. Confusion and fear painted her face. 

Who is this little girl? She's the star of the charity group Save the Children's latest video campaign. That video depicts what would happen to a little girl if London were to be engulfed in a civil war, using a series of snapshots to chronicle her life over the year that passed between one of her birthday's and the next.   

"Just because it isn't happening here, doesn't mean it isn't happening," the video's closing caption declares. It packs an undeniable emotional punch:

The video appeal is part of an effort by the organization to highlight the plight of children affected by the Syrian civil war, many of whom have had similar experiences to the one documented here. "Since the beginning of the conflict, children have been the forgotten victims of Syria's horrific war," the group writes on its website. "Today, over 5 million children are in need of assistance, including over 1 million children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries. These children are at risk of becoming a 'lost generation' and cannot be ignored."

This video seems certain to go viral. Less than 24 hours after its release, the video has already racked up more than 700,000 views on YouTube. Its emotional message and gutwrenching story arc are built for the social web. It's hard not to watch this video and not immediately think, "Oh, I know who needs to see this." That's how a viral campaign is built. 

Will this video alleviate the plight of Syria's children? Doubtful. Save the Children is using it to raise considerable amounts of money, and the group has a proven track record of success. Unfortunately for the little girl's real life counterparts, a war that has killed some 7,000 children rages on.