Marina Ovsiannikova sent shock waves across Russia when she disrupted an evening news broadcast on state-controlled media. She has since been fined 30,000 rubles.
An employee working at a state-run Russian news channel interrupted a live broadcast one evening to protest the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The protestor was identified by Russian state-controlled media and the independent outlet Meduza as Marina Ovsiannikova. She is an editor for Pervy Kanal, translated from Russian as Channel One. As she disrupted the evening broadcast, Ovsiannikova blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching a war of aggression against Ukraine. She urged Russians to rise up in protest. Her actions are likely to have dire consequences in the Eurasian country, where dozens of anti-war protestors have already been arrested for staging demonstrations, VICE News reports.
Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at a TV channel in Russia, interrupted a live broadcast with a sign that read “NO WAR. Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda. They're lying to you here.” She has since been detained. This is an act of incredible courage. pic.twitter.com/BOJ70m2ztv— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 14, 2022
During the newscast, she came out holding a handwritten sign that read: "No war. Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. Here they’re lying to you. Russians against war.” She was also chanting, "Stop the war! No to war!" Soon after the incident, a video appeared online wherein Ovsiannikova explains herself. The video has been claimed to be the protestor's pre-recorded, first-person account. "What’s happening in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country," she states in the clip. "[The responsibility for this aggression belongs to] only one person—and that person is Vladimir Putin." According to the video, her father is Ukrainian whereas her mother is Russian. She also expressed profound regret about her work for Russian state media.
Marina Ovsyannikova, the woman who ran onto a live state TV news broadcast, even recorded a message beforehand. In it, she says her father is Ukrainian. She calls for anti-war protests, says she’s ashamed about working for Kremlin propaganda, and she denounces the war absolutely. pic.twitter.com/nOpUY9bH74— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 14, 2022
Ovsiannikova stated, "Unfortunately for the last few years I have worked at Pervy Kanal, making Kremlin propaganda, and I am now deeply ashamed of that. I am ashamed that I let lies be told from the television screen; I am ashamed that I allowed the Russian people to become zombified." The incident has sent shockwaves across the country, where several anti-war protestors have recently been arrested for demonstrating their dissent. "Now the whole world has turned its back on us," Ovsiannikova concluded. "The next 10 generations of our descendants will not be able to wash away the shame of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It is in our power alone to stop all this madness. Join the protests. Do not be afraid. They cannot arrest us all." As per the Russian news agency Tass, the Russian general prosecutor’s office investigated the incident. Since the investigation, Ovsiannikova was fined 30,000 roubles (approximately $280) by a local court after the Kremlin denounced her act of protest as "hooliganism," according to CNBC. It is not immediately clear if she will face more serious consequences as a result of her demonstration.
"I want to thank everyone for their support"— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 15, 2022
Marina Ovsyannikova after leaving the courtroom.
The court decided to fine Marina 30,000 rubles ($280) pic.twitter.com/CAEKB0HCXO
At present, Russia has stepped up its assault against Ukraine, with fighting intensifying in the suburbs of Kyiv in Ukraine, as reported by The Guardian. A plume of smoke was seen rising up over western Kyiv on Wednesday morning after shrapnel from an artillery shell slammed into a 12-story apartment building in central Kyiv, obliterating the top floor and igniting a fire, according to a statement and images released by the Kyiv emergencies agency. Therefore, humanitarian efforts from across the world have been ramped up to support those in Ukraine. Many have also expressed support for Ukrainians, holding similar protests, calling on Russia and international players to stop the war.
Meduza spoke to former colleagues and industry insiders to piece together the story of Marina Ovsyannikova and the collapse of morale in Russian state television. https://t.co/863l2XYZGH— Meduza in English (@meduza_en) March 16, 2022