Russian newsreader gives Obama the finger

A top Russian female newsreader has caused a stir after appearing to offensively show US President Barack Obama her middle finger during a live newscast.

Online footage of the incident, which occurred earlier this month during an afternoon news bulletin on the privately held REN TV channel, is being avidly viewed in both Russia and the United States.

When the cameras kept Rolling: Tatyana Limanova would not be
punished despite her making an offensive gesture towards US president
Barack Obama. File pic

In the footage, Tatyana Limanova, an award-winning senior newsreader at the channel, can be seen briskly
reading out an item about how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has just assumed the rotating chairmanship of the Asia Pacific Cooperation organisation.

She is then heard to say that the post "has (previously) been held by Barack Obama" before mechanically and unambiguously raising her left arm and showing the camera her raised middle finger in an offensive gesture.

The channel has declined to comment. But sources close to it have tried to defuse the row by claiming that the newsreader had believed she was off camera.

According to the same storyline, the rude gesture was intended for studio technicians who had been trying to put her off her stride.

Sources at REN TV said Limanova would not be punished for her slip-up.

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