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Top Kremlin Official Threatens Russia's So-Called ‘Chief Propagandist’

Dmitry Kiselyov Kremlin Press Service

Sergey Kirienko, the new first deputy head of Russia's Presidential Administration, met with political analysts on Tuesday, stating that the Kremlin will not welcome radical political rhetoric in the national news media, according to the Dozhd television station. 

Kirienko reportedly spent most of the meeting listening to the eight experts in attendance, but he also made short speeches at the beginning and end of the gathering. Sources in the Kremlin told Dozhd that most of the discussion revolved around Russia’s upcoming presidential election in March 2018. There was reportedly no talk of holding early elections, though rumors and speculation about a snap vote have circulated in the media. 

Read our profile on Sergey Kirienko: The Next Man Putin Wants to Manage Domestic Politics Could Be Russia's Unluckiest Former Prime Minister

Effectively tasked with managing Russia’s democratic process, Kirienko also addressed the aggressive attitudes of several prominent members of the country’s political elite. Two people present at the meeting told Dozhd that he singled out television pundit Dmitry Kiselyov, the Kremlin’s so-called “chief propagandist,” for saying Russia is the only country capable of turning the United States into “radioactive ash.” 

Kirienko reportedly said that the Kremlin is against such rhetoric, and he even promised to clamp down on individuals who make such remarks. 

This was the third time in two weeks that state officials have broken with Kiselyov, who made the “radioactive ash” comment more than two years ago, at the height of U.S.-Russian tensions over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry officials refused to endorse Kiselyov’s recent criticism of Hungary’s 1956 Anti-Soviet Uprising, and Vladimir Putin himself told reporters that he doesn’t welcome bellicose remarks about nuclear war.

Read our roundup of Kiselyov's most recent television broadcast: The U.S. is certainly no better than Russia, and it's maybe as bad as Ukraine, says leading pundit

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