An anti-war protester interrupted a live evening news broadcast on Russian state television, holding up a sign behind the studio presenter saying ‘NO WAR. Stop the war” and “Don’t believe the propaganda”.
The act of dissent in Channel One studios on Monday came on the 19th day of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, amid what human rights groups have described as “nationwide repression without precedent against independent journalism, anti-war protests and dissenting voices” in Russia. .
The sign held up by the protester read in English and Russian: “NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They lie to you here.
Another sentence, which sounded like “Russians against the war”, was partly obscured.
He could be heard shouting, “Stop the war. No to war,” as the news anchor continued to read on her teleprompter.
After several seconds, the channel switched to another report to remove the protester from the screen.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the woman in his nightly video address:
“I am grateful to those Russians who keep trying to convey the truth. To those who fight misinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones,” Zelenskyy said. “And personally to the woman who walked into the Channel One studio with an anti-war poster.”
Kira Yarmysh, spokesperson for imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny, wrote on Twitter: “Wow this girl is cool.”
She posted a video of the incident, which quickly racked up over 2.6 million views.
Yes. Девушка крутая pic.twitter.com/QXC6s4DPki
— Кира Ярмыш (@Kira_Yarmysh) March 14, 2022
State television is the main source of news for many Russians and closely follows the Kremlin line that Russia was forced to act in Ukraine to demilitarize and “denazify” the country, and to defend the Russian speakers against the “genocide”.
Ukraine and most of the world condemned this as a false pretext for an invasion of a democratic and sovereign nation.
The woman was named by OVD-Info, an independent protest monitoring group, and the head of human rights group Agora, as Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of the channel.
Pavel Chikov, head of Agora, said Ovsyannikova was arrested and taken to a Moscow police station. Tass news agency said she could be charged under a law against discrediting the armed forces, citing a police source.
The law, passed on March 4, makes public actions aimed at discrediting the Russian military illegal and prohibits the dissemination of “false” news or the “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the armed forces of the Russian Federation”. Russia”.
The offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.
In a video recorded before the incident and posted online, a woman who appeared to be Ovsyannikova described herself as a Channel One employee and said she was ashamed of having worked for years spreading Kremlin propaganda . She said her father was Ukrainian and her mother Russian.
“What is happening in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country. The responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of one man, and that man is Vladimir Putin,” she said.
“Now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations of our descendants will not erase the shame of this fratricidal war,” she said.
She urged Russians to come out and demonstrate.
Authorities dispersed anti-war demonstrations. According to OVD-Info, which monitors protests and provides legal assistance to those detained, 14,911 people have been arrested.