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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Anchor Says Suspension Political

One of Ostankino's most respected television journalists, suspended recently over a change she inserted into a live broadcast, charged in an interview Tuesday that she is a victim of a campaign to remove her from the staff.

Irina Mishina said that her employer, the state-owned operator of the news program Novosti, had caved in to pressure by parliament to exert more influence over the news.

Novosti editor, Alla Uleryanova, refuted Mishina's allegations Tuesday, saying Mishina had used her position as an anchor person to distort the news.

"Mishina made a deliberate political change, I don't think it was unintentional", Uleryanova said. "And people may get fired for making just one mistake".

Mishina was last seen on the air June 30. During the broadcast, she said that parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov had been denied permission to use military planes for personal purposes. In fact, the speaker had been denied access to the planes altogether.

"I said the error was unintentional and offered to apologize immediately", Mishina said. "But I was told the apology wasn't necessary".

On July 1, she was told by a company official that she was barred from access to live broadcasts, Mishina said.

In an interview Tuesday, Novosti's editor in chief, Oleg Dobrodeyev, said that Mishina was "officially ill" and would be reprimanded when she recovers for making "serious mistakes".

Mishina dismissed the explanation as "a pretext". Among journalists, Mishina is widely reputed to be one of the best anchor persons on Russian television.

"She is one of the best and most unbiased presenters, and I have heard worse blunders on the air than the one she made", said Grigory Nekhoroshev, a BBC World Service reporter in Moscow.