Russian TV Editor Interrupts Live Broadcast to Protest Putin’s War Against Ukraine
Marina Ovsyannikova, a Russian TV editor, disrupted a live broadcast on one of Russia's state-controlled channels with an anti-war message about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During a news segment on Russia's Channel 1, she ran on camera with a sign that read "NO WAR."
The sign reportedly read in Russian, "Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda. They're lying to you here," according to a translation provided by People.
Ovsyannikova managed to be on screen for several seconds. Newsweek estimates that she may have been seen by "millions" of Russian viewers who tuned in to watch the broadcast.
Watch the moment below:
The TV editor also shared her views on the war in a separate video.
"What is happening now in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country," she said, according to a translation provided by Guardian News on YouTube. More specifically, Ovsyannikova blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Ovsyannikova referred to Russia's invasion as a "fratricidal war," likely in reference to how closely Russia and Ukraine are linked. She said her father was Ukrainian and her mother Russian to help illustrate the way the two cultures intermingled in the past.
She added that she was "ashamed" of spreading propaganda while working with Channel 1 and shared a call to action for anyone who saw the video.
"It is up to us to stop this madness," she said, speaking to her fellow Russians. "Come out to protest. Do not be afraid. They cannot put all of us in jail."
Watch her full statement below:
While her bravery has been celebrated by many across the globe, Ovsyannikova's decision was a dangerous one in Russia.
BBC notes that Russian media must use the phrase "special military operation" and cannot use the term "war" to describe the current situation. By speaking out, Ovsyannikova put herself at risk.
Global news organizations such as Newsweek expressed concern for her in the hours following the act of protest. Her lawyer said that they had been unable to get in touch while she was reportedly held at the Ostankino Police Department.
She could have faced upwards of 15 years in prison simply for speaking out.
Thankfully, Ovsyannikova was released after undergoing what she said was over 14 hours of interrogation, according to BBC.
"The interrogation lasted for more than 14 hours, I wasn't allowed to get in touch with my family or friends, I was denied access to a lawyer," she reportedly told press.
Ovsyannikova was fined 30,000 rouble (the Russian currency, which is the equivalent of $280). The fine appears to relate to her video message. According to BBC, she could still face additional charges for the appearance on live TV.
She also explained that she worked alone in organizing the protest and shared some insight into why she did it. "It was my anti-war decision. I made this decision by myself because I don't like Russia starting this invasion. It was really terrible."