These reactions reflect the well-known fact that national pro-government media in Russia pay considerably higher salaries than, for example, independent media or local outlets outside Moscow. According to Kremlin-loyal Izvestiya, top journalists on pro-Kremlin networks make salaries that easily compete with those of their European colleagues, reporting salary levels of up to 40,000 USD (36,000 EUR) per month and people who, including side jobs, earn up to 200,000 USD (180,000 EUR) per month in total. For comparison, a search for journalist job openings in the St. Petersburg region shows salaries around 400-500 EUR (30,000-40,000 rubles) per month.
Interviewed after the incident, talk show host Andrei Norkin said he has no regrets – except that he didn’t actually beat up his Ukrainian guest. The victim of the scandal, Moscow-based Ukrainian businessman and commentator Sergei Zaporozhsky, wrote on his blog that he does not exclude that he will accept future invitations from NTV, “either for another show, or for another host than Norkin.”