Mar 14, 2022 - World

Woman interrupts Russian newscast protesting war in Ukraine

Woman interrupts Russian newscast with sign that reads "No war"
A woman interrupts a newscast on the Russian state-run Channel One. Photo: Russia's Channel 1/Twitter

A woman was reportedly detained for protesting the invasion of Ukraine during a live newscast on Monday, calling for an end to the war with Ukraine.

Driving the news: The woman stood behind a state-run Channel One broadcaster, holding a sign that read "Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They’re lying to you." She simultaneously shouted “Stop the war! No to war!”

Between the lines: The woman is Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee at Channel One, according to OVD-Info, an independent Russian human rights media group.

  • Ovsyannikova appears to have filmed a video prior to the demonstration, which OVD-Info also released, where she apologized for helping manufacture "Kremlin propaganda."
  • "What's happening in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor," Ovsyannikova said in the video, according to a translation. "The responsibility for this aggression lies with one man: Vladimir Putin."
  • She added: "Unfortunately, for the last few years I've been working for Channel One. 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."
  • Pavel Chikov, whose legal defense fund is representing Ovsyannikova, confirmed that the Channel One worker has since been arrested. She's facing charges of "discrediting the Russian armed forces."

The big picture: The Kremlin has cracked down on independent media and social networks since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

  • Russian lawmakers passed legislation on March 4 that would punish journalists and individuals with up to 15 years in prison for publishing what Moscow deems to be "fake" information about the war.
  • Bloomberg and BBC have suspended operations in Russia, and CNN, CBS and ABC have stopped broadcasting in the country.
  • Russia has also blocked Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the country.
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