Konstantin Goldentsvayg, the now-former Berlin correspondent for Russian state-owned television station NTV, was fired last week for an interview he gave with German media outlet Phoenix.
Goldentsvayg said the Putin felt “insulted” at not being invited to the G-7 Summit, and he also insinuated that Putin wanted to prolong the conflict in Ukraine.
The Kremlin has consistently said that Putin was disinterested in attending the G-7 Summit, dismissing the snub. Russian state media has also put forth the narrative that the conflict in Ukraine was initiated by a fascist infiltration of the government, and that the West has been covering it up because of anti-Russian sentiment.
Goldentsvayg’s interview directly refuted those positions. After his employers at NTV saw the footage of the video, they almost immediately fired him.
In a Facebook post after the fact, Goldentsvayg said that he had already intended to leave his position at NTV, which he held for 12 years.
Since his firing, Goldentsvayg has been very open with the media about his time with NTV, discussing the pressure he was under to propagandize in detail.
“I’m really ashamed of what I’ve done over the last year and a half,” he told liberal website Meduza.
When covering political or Ukraine-centered stories, Goldentsvayg was ordered to portray the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as an “American puppet” and condemn United States and European Union activity in Eastern Europe as a “dirty campaign” against Putin and Russia.
Goldentsvayg claims that there are many others in the morally compromised position in which he found himself, reporting for NTV. Although some reporters believe the Russian narrative, many do not, and they are simply toeing their station’s line for the sake of their jobs and families.
Some are criticizing Goldentsvayg for betraying the Kremlin, but others are criticizing him for spending too much time working for propagandists and neglecting true journalism.
Prior to this controversial interview, Goldentsvayg intended on moving into non-political journalism with another station. However, after his critical comments on Putin and Russian policy, it seems unlikely state media will rehire him.
Goldentsvayg’s exit recalls former Russia Today presenter Liz Wahl’s very public resignation.
Live on air, Wahl explained that she believed RT, a Kremlin-funded English-language news station, has misrepresented the situation in Ukraine.
“I cannot be a part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I am proud to be an American, and I believe in disseminating the truth,” Wahl said as she quit.