Abby Martin RT
Abby Martin, who criticised Russia over its actions in Ukraine, is an aspiring artist YouTube

You have got to be a brave to criticise Vladimir Putin, especially to a global audience.

But that is exactly what happened when defiant Russia Today news anchor Abby Martin took to the airwaves on Monday.

As Russian troops entered Crimea, Martin told her viewers of the state-funded English language channel that "military intervention is never the answer" and "what Russia did is wrong."

But while critics of the Kremlin have sometimes found themselves in a spot of bother with authorities, Martin's comments have not only escaped the ire of her paymasters but also earned her a legion of new fans across the world.

Admitting her personal convictions go against her employer's editorial line, Martin has countered that American viewers rarely hear US networks criticise corporations.


Martin is a presenter of RT's 'Breaking the Set', a programme that, in its own words, "cuts through the pre-written narrative that tries to tell you what to think, and what to care about."

She graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in political science where she was involved in community causes.

A self taught editor, videographer, writer, journalist and artist, in 2009 she founded her own citizen journalism media organisation called Media Roots based California.

There, she editorially managed and produced hundreds of multimedia stories, including front line coverage of the Occupy Oakland crackdowns.

Martin is also a member of Project Censored, the largest research organisation in the country, that works to publish the top 25 censored news stories every year.

She has hosted a weekly radio show with Project Censored and throughout her education she lived in Spain and Costa Rica to pursue Spanish studies.

Based in Washington, where the show is recorded, Martin is also an exhibiting artist, who according to her website draws inspiration the world she sees:

A description of her work says:

"Whether reflecting on the natural world or the manmade world, the awakening or deadening of consciousness, cultural controlling dichotomies, the power of the mystic and all that is unknown, the condition of the social, the construction of the economic, or the corruption of the political, Abby's work displays an intense passion for life and her deep desire to engage others in her vision."

Pieces she has created include ones titled 'Power to the People', 'Pulling Back the Curtain' and 'Nuclear Fear'.

One of her prints, called 'Blood on Their Hands', shows images of current and former US politicians including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, John Kerry and Barack Obama covered in bloody handprints.

The print also features the logos of Facebook, American Express and Hershey.

Other works include colourful odes to musicians John Lennon and Elvis Costello.