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A woman has been praised for her bravery after interrupting a live broadcast on Russia's biggest TV station to protest the country's invasion of Ukraine.
During Russia's main evening news show on state-run TV broadcaster Channel One, a woman ran onto the set behind the news presenter and held up a sign reading 'Stop the war, Don’t believe propaganda, They’re lying to you'.
The newsreader didn't react to the intruder and continued speaking, while the woman behind her shouted 'Stop the war, no to war'. After a few seconds, the broadcast cut away to a pre-recorded segment, with the protester still able to be heard in the background.
A woman burst onto Russia’s main live evening newscast today with a sign that says:— max seddon (@maxseddon) March 14, 2022
“Stop the war
Don’t believe propaganda
They’re lying to you”
And chanting: “Stop the war! No to war!”pic.twitter.com/pKVKZFVEM3
According to local activists, the woman is an employee of the news channel named Maria Ovsyannikova. She's understood to have been detained by police shortly after staging her protest and is currently being questioned.
In a video filmed by Ovsyannikova shortly before the incident, she condemned the war and Russian President Vladimir Putin and apologised for her work on the Kremlin-controlled news channel, which has broadly covered up news of the invasion. '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 said.
'Now the whole world has turned away from us, and ten generations of our descendants won't wash off this fratricidal war,' she said, as she called for people to take to the streets to protest the war, concluding the video by saying 'they can't arrest all of us'.
A clip of the incident has quickly gone viral on social media, as people salute the courage of her actions.
'This woman doubtless knew what doing this would mean for her – arrest and a long prison sentence – and did it anyway,' journalist and Russia expert Julia Ioffe tweeted.
The unprecedented interruption of Russia's biggest state-run channel comes amid a growing crackdown on protests against Russia's war in Ukraine. The Russian human rights group OVD-info says that more than 13,000 people have been arrested across dozens of cities for protesting the invasion, while Russian censors have barred references to the invasion as a 'war'.
Some of those arrested have said they were beaten by police and forced to sign statements of guilt, while others say they have since fled the country after receiving threats against themselves and their family, CBS reports.
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