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Russian Journalist Arrested For Staging TV Protest Speaks Out

Russian Journalist Arrested For Staging TV Protest Speaks Out

Marina Ovsyannikova went viral last week after interrupting Russia’s main state news broadcast, Channel 1, with an anti-war protest.

A Russian journalist who staged a live on-air protest against the war in Ukraine has spoken out.

Screenshots and footage of Marina Ovsyannikova went viral last week after she interrupted Russia’s main state news broadcast, Channel 1, with an anti-war sign amid President Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation'.

The placard said 'NO WAR. Stop the war. Don't believe propaganda. They are lying to you here' in English and Russian.

While reports emerged that she'd gone missing after the incident, Ovsyannikova later appeared in court where she pleaded not guilty to the charge of organising an unauthorised public event. Ovsyannikova was then charged with an 'administrative offence' and fined around $280.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, she called on Russians to 'stop all this madness', BBC News reports, while detailing her 14-hour interrogation. '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 said.

She also appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss her protest. 'As the war began, I could not eat. I could not sleep. What we showed on our programs was very different from what was going on in reality,' Ovsyannikova said.

'The propaganda on our state channels was becoming more and more distorted. The Russian people are really against the war. It’s Putin’s war, not [the] Russian people’s war.'

In an effort to control the narrative in Russia, amid claims their bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol is 'fake news',

the country is now prepared to hand out prison sentences to those who distribute 'fake news' regarding the conflict.

While it was a 'spontaneous' decision, Ovsyannikova wanted to use her power to take a stand. 'I could show to the Russian people that this is just propaganda, expose this propaganda for what it is and maybe stimulate some people to speak up against the war,' she said.

'I was hoping that my performance, in a way, would help people change their mind.'

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Ovsyannikova for 'telling the truth', while French President Emmanuel Macron offered her protection and said he'd discuss it with Putin.

When asked if she was concerned for her own safety following the protest, she said: 'I am very worried for the safety of my children. I have publicly refused to take political asylum in France because I am a patriot; I want to live in Russia.'

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, World News