Dmitry Kiselyov

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Dmitry Kiselyov
Киселёв, Дмитрий Константинович.png
Born Dmitry Konstantinovich Kiselyov
(1954-04-26) April 26, 1954 (age 62)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Occupation Journalist
Years active 1978–present
Awards Orden for Service IV.png Orden of Friendship.png

Dmitry Konstantinovich Kiselyov (Russian: Дми́трий Константи́нович Киселёв; born April 26, 1954 in Moscow)[1] is a Russian journalist. In December 2013 he was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to head the new official Russian government-owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, a 2,300-person organization made up largely of the former RIA Novosti news agency. He also serves as deputy director of Russian state TV holding company VGTRK.[2]

His comments have been controversial both in Russia and in the West, especially regarding gay people and the Euromaidan, the 2014 crisis in Crimea and allegations of US involvement in ISIS. Additionally, his show has been accused by other media of being a soapbox to promote pro-Putin propaganda.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Moscow on April 26, 1954,[5] Kiselyov was brought up in a musical environment, being the nephew of Soviet composer Yuri Shaporin, and graduated from School of Music in classical guitar.[6] He studied at Medical College Number 6 in Moscow.[7] In 1978 he graduated from the Department of Scandinavian Philology of philological faculty of Leningrad State University and claims to speak English, French, Norwegian and Swedish.[8]


He is best known as presenter of Vesti nedeli (News of the Week),[2] a weekly news programme on the domestic Rossiya 1 television network. His show is accused of being a soapbox to promote the Kremlin's policies,[2] disparage homosexuality, denigrate the West and speculate about Western-led conspiracies as well as attack the political opposition to Putin.[9] Prior to Rossiya 1, Dmitry was employed by Soviet Central Television as well as the Ukrainian television channel ICTV between 2000 and 2003.[10]


Kiselyov has gained particular notoriety in the West for his commentary on gay people[2] and statements made during the 2014 Crimean crisis.[11] Kiselyov considers himself a liberal and he says of his opponents Sergey Parkhomenko and Alexei Navalny. "Why are they liberals? They are absolutely totalitarian people. I am a liberal, because I put up with them."[12] Kiselyov has been described by The Economist as Russia's propagandist-in-chief,[13][14] and the Washington Post says that:

He may seem extreme, but Kiselyov apparently has the blessing of the Kremlin: He's been selected to head the new Russian state media conglomerate, Rossiya Segodnya, that is due to replace the well-respected RIA Novosti. He also has a point. Russia is still a major nuclear power, with an estimated 8,500 nuclear warheads, more than the United States.[15][16]


In one televised commentary, he said "banning gays from distributing propaganda to children is not enough. I think they should be banned from donating blood or sperm, and if they die in a car crash, their hearts should be burnt or buried in the ground as unsuitable for the continuation of life",[17] suggesting that the internal organs of gay people should be burned and buried rather than be accepted for organ transplants.[9]

An online petition titled "No Fascism on TV" calling for him to be fired from the Russia 24 TV channel gathered over 3,500 signatures, and several bloggers called for his comments to be banned under laws banning extremism and hate speech.[17] However, Kiselyov refused to retract the statement, telling the Izvestia newspaper that "I'm not a homophobe. Lots of my friends are gay. It is simply global practice, as followed in the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Arab countries. Practically everywhere except Russia" he said,[17] claiming that he just wanted Russia to become more "civilized" and join the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Arab world by prohibiting gay people from donating blood and other organs. He also incorrectly claimed that the Food and Drug Administration in the US kept a database of "everyone in the US who has had a same-sex sexual relation over the past twenty years, with the equivalent EU agency doing the same", according to The Moscow Times.[18][19] Timothy Snyder writes in The New York Review of Books that "Kiselyov has taken Putin's campaign against gay rights and transformed it into a weapon against European integration."[20]

Kiselyov has also condemned gay pride parades and while he opposes same-sex marriage, he has been sympathetic to the idea of civil unions for same-sex couples.[21]


In Sweden, he became controversial in December 2013 when he criticized the moral values of that country in response to the 2013 Ukrainian protests, for which he partly blamed the Swedish political leadership and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt[22] as well as the government of Poland, accusing Poland and Sweden of fomenting the protests to avenge defeats in centuries-old Polish-Russian and Russo-Swedish Wars.[9]


On 16 March 2014, the day of Crimean referendum, Kiselyov stated in the News of the Week broadcast that Russia is "the only country in the world capable of turning the USA into radioactive dust."[11]

On 20 March 2014, the European Union unveiled a list of Russians to be sanctioned over the Ukrainian crisis. Kiselyov was included into sanctions list[23] for being a "central figure of the government propaganda supporting the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine".[24]

On May 15, 2014, Kiselyov said about the country, "There is no Ukraine. That is only a virtual concept, a virtual country. If you want to live in a virtual world, please do. ... But is a real portal. Not about the country, but about that territory which was under the rule of that country. Now it is a failed state."[25]

Since 11 September 2014 Kiselyov is banned from entering Ukraine.[26]

In 2016 he admitted presenting fake documents when trying to demonstrate "widespread" support for SS in Ukraine[27]


In October 2015 Kiselyov was quoted as claiming that the US was fighting alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria,[28] saying: "In Syria, America stands on the side of the terrorist caliphate. Together they are trying to destroy Syria as a secular state." Kiselyov later blamed the Metrojet Flight 9268 crash on a secret pact between America and ISIS.[13]



  1. ^ Ведущим программы "Вести недели" на "России 1" станет Дмитрий Киселев (in Russian). Russia-1. Retrieved December 14, 2013. Дмитрий Киселев родился 26 апреля 1954 года 
  2. ^ a b c d Daisy Sindelar (December 15, 2013). "In Choosing Kiselyov, Media Critics Say Putin Opts For Personal Propagandist". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Dmitry Kiselyov: Russia's chief spin doctor - BBC News". 
  4. ^ "The Kremlin's New Chief Propagandist - Opinion". 
  5. ^ "Ведущим программы «Вести недели» на «России 1» станет Дмитрий Кисилёв" [Host of "News of the Week" on "Russia 1" will be Dmitry Kisilёv]. Russia 1 (in Russian). Retrieved April 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ Taisiya Bakhareva (September 8, 2006). "Дмитрий Киселёв: «чтобы построить коттедж в Коктебеле, я заложил свой дом в Москве»" [Dmitry Kiselyov: "to build a house in Koktebel, I mortgaged my home in Moscow] (in Russian). Facts and Comments. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ Valentine Peskov (October 27, 2010). "Дмитрий Киселёв: «В загс я Машу повез на мотоцикле»" (in Russian). Moskovskij Komsomolets. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ Дмитрий Киселев: "В загс я Машу повез на мотоцикле" (in Russian). Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c "Russia state news agency gets controversial chief". The Huffington Post. December 9, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Новости :: Дмитрий Киселев отстранен от руководства новостными выпусками украинского канала ICTV". (in Russian). 
  11. ^ a b "Russia could turn U.S. 'into radioactive dust,' influential Moscow news anchor tells viewers". National Post. Associated Press. March 17, 2014. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Дмитрий Киселев: Я не пропагандист и не гомофоб". РБК. 
  13. ^ a b "Tolerance for casualties: Russians' stoicism gives Vladimir Putin time to work out a response". The Economist. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ Stephen Ennis (April 2, 2014). "Dmitry Kiselev: Russia's chief spin doctor". BBC Monitoring. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ Jackson, David (March 17, 2014). "TV anchor: Russia can turn U.S. 'into radioactive dust'". USA TODAY. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  16. ^ Taylor, Adam (March 16, 2014). "Russian TV host: Russia is the only country with capability to turn U.S. into 'radioactive ashes'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c Oliphant, Roiland (August 13, 2013). "Russian journalist Dmitry Kiselyov defends 'homophobic' comments in TV debate". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  18. ^ Taylor, Adam (December 10, 2013). "Meet The Scary Man In Charge Of Vladimir Putin's New State News Agency". Business Insider. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Russian Talk Show Host Defends Anti-Gay Remarks". The Moscow Times. August 13, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  20. ^ Dreyfuss, Bob (May 30, 2014). "Ukraine's Far Right Loses Big, but Europe's Russian-Backed Fascists Make Major Gains". The Nation. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  21. ^ Porter, Tom (June 30, 2015). "Russian 'burn gay hearts' demagogue Dmitry Kiselyov calls for civil partnerships in shock U-turn". International Business Times UK. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Svenskt barnprogram slagträ i rysk stats-tv". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Archived from the original on March 17, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Dmitry Kiselyov: Russian TV presenter draws EU sanctions wrath". Financial Times. Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ James G. Neuger (21 March 2014). Alan Crawford, ed. "Putin 'Propagandist' Added to EU Sanctions Without Oligarchs". Bloomberg News. Retrieved May 2, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Дмитрий Киселев: "Теперь Украина – виртуальная страна, а наш портал настоящий!"" [Dmitry Kiselyov, "Now Ukraine - a virtual country, while our portal is real!"]. May 15, 2014. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  26. ^ Yevgeny Kiselyov denied entry into Ukraine by mistake, ban concerns another person - source, Interfax-Ukraine (October 23, 2014)
  27. ^ "Pro-Kremlin TV Host Kiselyov Admits Using Fake Documents in His Show News". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  28. ^ "A new spectacle for the masses". The Economist. October 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Presidential Decree dated May 5, 2011 № 589 On conferring state awards of the Russian Federation
  30. ^ Presidential Decree on February 13, 2014 № 74 On conferring state awards of the Russian Federation