Mar 20, 2022 - World

Russian TV protester: "The Russian people are really against the war"

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who last week protested against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on live television, told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the majority of Russians are against the war, adding that "this is Putin's war."

Driving the news: Ovsyannikova was detained after she interrupted a live taping at Russia's state-run Channel One broadcaster — where she worked — to hold up a sign reading, "Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They’re lying to you."

  • Ovsyannikova was taken into custody overnight and subsequently fined 30,000 rubles (about $280) for an “administrative offense” related to an earlier video she had filmed, per ABC News.

The big picture: Earlier this month, Russian lawmakers passed legislation allowing journalists and people to be punished with up to 15 years in prison for publishing what Moscow deems to be "fake" information about the war.

  • Ovsyannikova could still be charged under this new law, per ABC News.

What they're saying: "The Russian people are really against the war. It's Putin's war, not Russian peoples' war," Ovsyannikova said.

  • Ovsyannikova said her protest on live TV was "spontaneous."
"But the dissatisfaction with the current situation has been accumulating for many years, because the propaganda on our state channels was becoming more and more distorted, and the pressure that has been applied in Russian politics could not leave us indifferent."
— Marina Ovsyannikova

Ovsyannikova said her action was meant to "demonstrate to the world that not all Russian people believe the same. And I believe that many people — more than half of the people in Russia — are against the war."

  • She called the global sanctions levied against Russia a "correct decision," but stressed that these sanctions also hurt ordinary Russians who oppose the war.
  • "I wanted to show to the world that it's not just black and white in Russia, and I wanted to show to our Russian people that they need to think critically and analyze the information that is being presented to them," she said, adding that state-run media present a "very different" picture of reality.
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