A Russian TV editor interrupted a live broadcast to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin and her own network’s propaganda on the invasion of Ukraine, earning praise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for her actions and reportedly saying, “They can’t put us all in prison.”
Marina Ovsyannikova was an employee for Pervyi Kanal (Channel One), the first broadcast station in the Russian Federation, which boasts 250 million viewers globally, according to the Daily Mail. During the live broadcast, Ovsyannikova stepped into the shot with a homemade sign while shouting over the broadcaster, Ekaterina Andreeva.
Under the header, “NO WAR,” the sign has been translated as reading, “Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”
It was signed in English, “Russians against war.”
This is fantastic. A brave woman interrupted Russian state TV’s live broadcast with a sign that says: “Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They’re lying to you here." It was signed: "Russians against war.”pic.twitter.com/673cO668nM
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) March 14, 2022
Ovsyannikova was reported as shouting, “They can’t put us all in prison,” before the broadcast cut away to footage of people in a hallway.
Following the protest, Ovsyannikova is said to have been arrested and her own attorney, Dmitry Zakhvatov, claims he cannot locate his client despite reports of her being held at Moscow’s Ostankino Police station, CNN detailed.
Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to Russians who continue to challenge the narrative of the Russian state media and especially to Ovsyannikova for her bold stand in a video he posted Tuesday on Telegram. He said, “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones.”
“And personally,” he added on Ovsyannikova, “to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war. To those who are not afraid to protest. As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight. You must not lose your chance.”
Because of Russia’s new law against “fake news,” Ovsyannikova was arrested by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for “public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens, maintain international peace and security.”
Novaya Gazeta, one of the last independent sources of journalism in Russia, reported on the protest to the best of their ability given the constraints imposed by the censorships laws that prohibit how they can discuss the invasion of Ukraine.
В эфире программы «Время» за спиной ведущей Екатерины Андреевой появилась девушка с плакатом, содержание которого нам запрещают передать Роскомнадзор и Уголовный кодекс.
По неподтвержденной информации, это редактор Марина Овсянникова.
В настоящий момент она задержана. pic.twitter.com/TdpkscVpuS
— Новая Газета (@novaya_gazeta) March 14, 2022
The outlet explained the need to blur out Ovsyannikova’s “forbidden” message and provided little more than her name and her current arrest status.
Prior to the public protest, Ovsyannikova filmed a statement expressing her view of the crimes against Ukraine and blaming Putin for all aggressions.
— Expat in Kyiv (@expatua) March 14, 2022
The translation details Ovsyannikova as explaining her lineage as the daughter of a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother who have never been enemies. Citing her shame for having worked for Channel One, she said, “I’ve been doing Kremlin propaganda and I’m very ashamed of it – that I let people lie from TV screens and allowed the Russian people to be zombified.”
She went on to mention the high-profile poisoning of Alexei Navalny and the years of inaction by the people of Russia to stop Putin, saying, “Now the whole world has turned away from us, and ten generations of our descendants won’t wash off this fratricidal war.”
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