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Lithuania Suspends Russian TV After Anti-U.S. Comments

Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Lithuania pulled a Russian state-run television station off the air after a Russian lawmaker was shown criticizing U.S. policy in remarks regulators deemed were an "incitement to war, discord, and hatred."

The November 16 order by the country's radio and TV commission suspends broadcasts by RTR Planeta, the international service of Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK, for three months.

The order came after a recent broadcast in which Russian Duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky was shown saying that if U.S. troops get near Russia's borders "they will burn down with the crew."

Zhirinovsky is the leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic party and is known for flamboyant remarks but also for hewing closely to Kremlin policy.

It's not the first time that the former Soviet republic has suspended the channel, but it comes amid increasing concerns about Russia state propaganda and its effect on Russian-speakers in the Baltic region.

Russians make up around 6 percent of Lithuania's population, the smallest proportion of the three Baltic states.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS