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27th Apr 2022

“You are taking us all for fools” – Sarah McInerney grills Russian Ambassador during tense interview

Stephen Porzio

“It’s very difficult and insulting to our listeners to hear what you are saying”.

RTÉ Drivetime presenter Sarah McInerney asked Russian Ambassador to Ireland Yury Filatov if he was taking listeners of the show for “fools” during a lengthy interview on Wednesday.

The tense conversation involved the presenter grilling the ambassador over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

After being asked if Russia was planning to extend the war into Moldova, Filatov responded that Russia is not carrying out a war.

“We are carrying [out a] special military operation in Ukraine and there are no plans to extend that,” he told the show.

“I’m not sure you know what the war is.

“Certainly the kind of military operation which is going on is not a war in a military sense.

“War is all-out attack, no holds barred.

“What we have been engaged in is a very surgical operation.”

During the interview, Filatov referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as “probably the last source” he would go to for “any kind of truthful information”.

He also said that the Russian military had nothing to do with the killing of civilians in Bucha and that a photo showing the aftermath of a bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol was “staged”.

At this point, McInerney said to Filatov:

“I really am sorry to interrupt you… but it’s very difficult and insulting to our listeners to hear what you are saying.

“Because you are taking us all for fools, aren’t you?

“Can I just put to you what your contention and what Russia’s contention seems to be?”

“It’s that Russia invaded Ukraine and after that point, Ukrainians in response started randomly killing each other, raping each other, their own citizens, in an effort to frame Russia for those crimes?

“The whole world is in on this big lie is what Russia is saying?”

In response, Filatov said he was “trying to get another point-of-view on this very difficult issue”.

“If you don’t like the message, it’s not the wisest way to hate the messenger,” he told the show.

“I admit it’s really difficult under the circumstances because of the overall established fact that Russia is evil of all evils.

“If you try to get away from this sort of set-piece, then you would discover many things which would really be uncomfortable for many people.”

After the airing of the pre-recorded interview with Filatov, McInerney said the following:

“Mr Filatov made a series of claims in that interview about events in Mariupol, Kramatorsk and elsewhere which have been investigated and dismissed by multiple independent analysts.”

You can listen to the interview on RTÉ’s website here.

Main image via Sasko Lazarov/

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