Russian journalist Maria Baronova, editor-in-chief of the state-run Russia Today (RT) channel, resigned from her post after condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Baronova, who has been very close to Putin’s government, warned that “we’re on the brink of a nuclear war.”
Baronova is a Russian chemist who has worked as a sales manager of laboratory equipment, is a journalist and political spokeswoman.
“The problem is, I know these people very well. They never send threats, they just kill, so there is kind of [a] weird silence around me, but I really think we’re on the brink of a nuclear war right now. I’m not exaggerating,” she said in an interview with Fox News.
The journalist said she quit her job because she believes there is a real threat: “I wouldn’t quit, and I wouldn’t lose my salary and job if I was sure that we are going to be alive for many years, but I really don’t know what is going to happen to all of us next.”
Baronova fears the West will make Russia the target of an attack, “I suspect the Western world will use it,” she said. “This is a very dangerous situation,” she added. She also noted to Fox News that she has not received much support from her fellow Russians since leaving RT and was alarmed at the support in the media for the actions taken by Putin in Ukraine.
This is not the first time the journalist has drawn attention for dissenting from Putin, Baronova has been described as an activist as she has supported the opposition movement in her country; also in 2012 she wrote an article titled “A Face of the Russian Protest Movement” that was published in the New York Times.
In 2014, Rolling Stone said she was “for a short while, one of the most visible protesters in Moscow,” in an article detailing the anti-Putin activism led by the punk band Pussy Riot.
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Baronova reported that at first many supported the Russian invasion; however, as the days have passed, they have begun to condemn the events, especially because of their consequences on the Russian economy.
“People were in favor on [the] first day of invasion. Now they are less convinced and much more skeptical because they understand now that they are going to lose their jobs, they are going to lose their cars, their iPhones, their everything,” she sentenced.