Russian TV anchor and award-winning journalist Tatiana Limanova was recently taken off the air after giving the finger following the mention of U.S. President Barack Obama's name in a live newscast.

Limanova hosted a news show on the REN-TV private channel. She made the obscene gesture with her middle finger when mentioning Obama's name while presenting a story about the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the United States.

The channel confirmed Limanova's removal on Thursday, Reuters reported.

It was the finger heard around the world, as video of the newscast went viral on the Internet, leading to specualtions that Limanova's obscene gesture was meant to insult Obama, who met Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

But a representative of the TV channel said the finger wasn't meant for the U.S. president, but for the editing crew.

The gesture was addressed to the members of the editing crew, there was no implication of any kind and it had no reference to the information delivered by Tatiana Limanova, the representative told the Interfax news service.

The spokesman said Limanova thought she was reading the news off-screen by the time she raised the finger, according to Reuters, which noted that it is uncertain if the anchor's duties would change after the incident.

U.S plans to deploy missile defense shield in Europe have strained the relations between itself and Russia.

According to Reuters, REN-TV is broadcast across Russia and the former Soviet Union and is owned by Yuri Kovalchuk, who is believed to be close to Russia's paramount leader, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Do you think Limanova's finger gesture was meant for Obama or her editing crew? Watch the newscast below and tell us what you think: