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This Is Not a Map of Russia… Yet

Twitter was abuzz over Russia Today's "future" map of what the country could look like, maybe, one day, if it annexes Crimea.
Screengrab via RT

A screengrab made the rounds on social media on Thursday showing Russia Today's broadcast of a map of the country which included its latest addition — the Crimean peninsula.

Things are indeed happening fast in the former Soviet republic but, until further notice, Crimea is still in Ukraine.

Russia Today leaves up this map during segment about Crimea, showing what it would look like after referendum — Dave Keating (@DaveKeating)March 6, 2014


As it turns out, RT didn’t actually single-handedly annex Crimea, and the map they broadcast was a “future” look at what Russia “would” look like if a referendum set there for March 16 passes.

Twitter users sharing the photo got a little excited and skipped on the context.

Journalist Dave Keating, who originally posted the screen grab, quickly corrected the misunderstanding.

“Russia Today leaves up this map during segment about Crimea, showing what it would look like after referendum,” he tweeted. “Hope the context is more clear now, screengrab from segment showing the 'future' map if referendum passes.”

His original tweet — which has since been deleted but was retweeted dozens of times — was less nuanced: “Russia Today has already changed their map…”

You can watch the RT segment here.

RT, a multi-lingual channel available around the world which has often been accused of being a mouthpiece for the Kremlin, also made headlines on Wednesday, when an American anchor at the network’s DC bureau quit on air.

RT anchor Liz Wahl quit her job on air over a conflict with her employer's editorial position.

“As a reporter on this network I face many ethical and moral challenges,” reporter Liz Wahl, whose grandparents immigrated to the US fleeing Soviet forces during the Hungarian Revolution, said during a live broadcast. “Personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.”


The network responded by calling Wahl’s resignation a “self-promotional stunt.”

“When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional,” RT said in a statement. “We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.”

As for Crimea’s path, RT’s future map may be more clairvoyant than sci-fi.

Crimea's parliament voted to make the peninsula a full-fledged part of Russia on Thursday, declaring its intention to officially split from Ukraine.

“The bigger question is what the Kremlin's reaction will be,” VICE News’ correspondent on the ground Simon Ostrovsky wrote. Once again, all eyes are on Putin.