Russian president Vladimir Putin have signed a decree which assigns a homophobic TV presenter Dmitry Kiselev as a head of the restructured state sponsored news agency “Rossiya Segodnya” (Russia Today). Kiselev stirred controversy in April, 2012 when during his TV show he said that imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda is not enough, they should be “banned from donating blood, sperm, and their hearts should be buried or burned in case of a car crush as unsuitable for prolonging someone’s life”.
Putin has decreed that RIA Novosti, the previous Russian news agency, will be shut down, along with state radio Voice of Russia. The BBC adds some context:
During Mr Putin’s time as Russia’s leader, RIA Novosti has tried hard to produce balanced coverage for Russian and international audiences, our correspondent says. Although state-owned, it has reflected the views of the opposition and covered difficult topics for the Kremlin, our correspondent adds.
Just last August, Kiselev told his television audience on state-owned Russia 1:
I think that just imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda among teenagers is not enough. 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.”