Russian state TV cancels live Oscars show over Ukraine

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian state television announced on Sunday it was cancelling live coverage of the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood because of the crisis over Ukraine.

Channel One, the most watched station in Russia, was scheduled to show the glitzy movie awards event between 4 am (midnight GMT) and 9 am Moscow time.

"Due to the large amount of news concerning the situation in Crimea and the Ukraine, and the audience's rising interest in news programmes, Channel One considers it impossible to air the Oscars ceremony for five hours, particularly in the morning."

It said it would instead broadcast the annual Hollywood extravaganza at midnight on Monday.

A movie critic invited to be a commentator for the ceremony said he was told late Sunday that live coverage had been cancelled.

"They are gathering politicians for the morning programming," Mr Yury Gladilshchikov, who writes for Moskovskiye Novosti newspaper, said on Facebook.

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