Q+A host Stan Grant asks pro-Russian audience member to leave the studio after Ukraine claim

A pro-Russian audience member has been asked to leave the Q+A studio after tempers flared following a “rogue question” about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Host Stan Grant asked Sasha Gillies-Lekakis to leave the studio after he had earlier asked a question about how Russia is being portrayed in the media.

“As someone who comes from the Russian community here in Australia, I’ve been pretty outraged by the narrative depicted by our media, with Ukraine as the good guy and Russia as the bad guy,” Mr Gillies-Lekakis said.

“Believe it or not, there are a lot of Russians here and around the world that support what Putin’s doing in Ukraine, myself included. Since 2014, the Ukraine has besieged the Russian populations in Donetsk and Luhansk unprovoked, killing an estimated 13,000 people. “

A man wearing glasses asks a qustion
Sasha Gillies-Lekakis asks a question on Q+A about how Russia is being portrayed by the media.ABC Q+A

Mr Gillies-Lekakis was then interrupted by another audience member, who shouted: “That’s a lie” and “Don’t do this, it’s propaganda”.

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While the question was briefly discussed by the panel before the show moved on to talk about the flood crisis, Grant came back to it later to express how “uncomfortable” he was having Mr Gillies-Lekakis in the audience.

“Something has been bothering me, I have to admit, since we had Sasha’s question earlier about Russia, and it’s been playing on my mind,” Grant said.

“Sasha, people here have been talking about family who are suffering and people who are dying.

“You supported what’s happening, hearing that people are dying. Can I just say — I’m just not comfortable with you being here. Could you please leave?”

Mr Gillies-Lekakis attempted to protest, but Grant continued.

“You can ask a question, but we cannot advocate violence. I should have asked you to leave then. It’s been playing on my mind and, I’m sorry, but I have to ask you to leave,” he said.

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