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WATCH: Russian-Australian Man Ordered to Leave Televised Q&A for Questioning the Media Russia-Ukraine Narrative


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A Russian-Australian man was told to leave a television studio after he asked a ‘rogue’ question that pointed to an alternative narrative encompassing the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The audience member Sasha Gillies-Lekakis was speaking on a live Australian debate show when he expressed support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

His comments shocked Stan Grant, the host of the show, and angered other audience members.

Other audience members shouted ‘propaganda’ and ‘lies’ after the comments made by Gillies-Lekakis.

“As someone who comes from the Russian community here in Australia, I’ve been pretty outraged by the narrative depicted by our media, with Ukraine as the good guy and Russia as the bad guy,” Gillies-Lekakis said.

“Believe it or not, there are a lot of Russians here and around the world that support what Putin’s doing in Ukraine, myself included,” he added before claiming that Ukraine has previously “besieged” the Russian populations in Donetsk and Luhansk, killing thousands of people.

Around twenty minutes later, Grant said he ‘thought about it’ and told Gillies-Lekakis to leave the studio audience due to his remarks.

Grant commented that Gillies-Lekakis advocated for violence and wasn’t comfortable with him sitting in the audience.

“You can ask a question, but we cannot advocate violence. I should have asked you to leave then. It‘s been playing on my mind and, I’m sorry, but I have to ask you to leave,” he stated. 

Watch below:

Summit News reported:

Grant later stated “we can’t have anyone who is sanctioning, supporting, violence and killing of people. So I‘m sorry for the disruption. It was not a vetted question. It was a rogue question. It’s not good.”

In a now removed Facebook post, Gillies-Lekakis explained that he “supports Putin’s grievances regarding the breaking of the Minsk Peace Agreement by Ukraine and the ensuing loss of life, particularly in the Russian-populated areas of the Donbas”.

He added, “My question, furthermore, sought to question why these Russian deaths were seemingly less important compared to Ukrainian casualties in our media coverage, and whether the panellists thought there was any hypocrisy in their positions as a result.”

“This is reflected in my question as published on the Q+A website. Unfortunately, I was unable to fully finish asking my question nor clarify myself despite trying, and so believe that my words were misrepresented and incomplete,” he further wrote.

Gillies-Lekakis further noted that his question was not ‘rogue’ and was submitted to the show’s producers beforehand, adding that he wasn’t able to ask it in full before being interrupted.

“The only addition I made to my question when actually delivering it was my reference to the Azhov Battalion (7-8 words roughly), and some sentences were left out towards the end as I was interrupted,” he said.

He added, “If this small change to my question amounts to it being ‘rogue’, as was claimed, once again I apologise. However, I find this difficult to reconcile with the fact that other guests were given the chance to speak at length, off-script, on the Russia-Ukraine situation.”

He said the Q+A host was “disappointing and unprofessional” and accused the network ABC of “questionable conduct” during the night.



 

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