It wasn’t the best time to mix names, given the context.
Maria Bukhtuyeva, a newsreader on the private Russian TVK channel announced on Friday that Russian billionaire and presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov had proposed a referendum to decide whether Vladimir Putin should be buried. She added that Russian netizens were actively debating the issue.
In fact (perhaps much to the disappointment of anti-Putin protestors), Prokhorov was talking about the burial of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the 1917 Russian revolution. Lenin’s embalmed body has been on display in a mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square since his death almost 90 years ago.
Bukhtuyeva later apologized and corrected herself on air, but a video of the clip quickly became a YouTube sensation.
But TVK Executive Director Ksenia Cherepanova dismissed the rumours.
“It was just a slip of the tongue, and when I am asked whether we are going to fire her, I reply: ‘On what grounds?'” Cherepanova told Ria Novosti. “Honestly,” she added, “I am shocked that our people are so cowed.”