Victoria Derbyshire clashed with a pro-Putin talking head live on television on Wednesday afternoon.
The BBC presenter branded as “nonsense” claims from Dr Henry Sardaryan – from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations – that Moscow is not responsible for the deaths of “innocent men, women and children” in Ukraine.
As devastating images of Russia’s brutal bombing campaign flood social media, Derbyshire erupted with fury at her guest’s attempts to deny the Kremlin’s role in the deaths of civilians.
She said: “He’s invaded an independent, sovereign country and it’s killing innocent men, women and children. That’s what he’s doing.”
Sardaryan hit back: “What is the number of innocent men and women killed in Ukraine?
“Russia is not killing innocent people. Russia is destroying military infrastructure in Ukraine.
“I asked you the number, what is the number? I can tell you your Government has killed more than one million people in Iraq.”
But Derbyshire wasn’t having it, replying: “Oh, come on, this is nonsense.
“Is this some kind of competition? I’m asking you how does President Putin justify it? That’s what I’m asking.
“Could you pause for one second? How does President Putin justify killing innocent men, women, and children in Ukraine?”
But Sardaryan insisted: “The Russian President doesn’t need to justify things that are not done.
“Russia is destroying the military infrastructure of Ukraine, and the reason for doing that is Ukraine is a threat to Russian security at the moment and for the security of people who live in the Donbas region who’ve been killed for these eight years.”
Visibly frustrated, Derbyshire said: “Why have hospitals been hit? Why has a TV tower been hit?
“Why has an administrative building in the north of the country been hit? Why has an orphanage been hit? Is that military infrastructure? Come on!”
Watch the fiery exchange below.