Russian TV Station Employee Interrupts Live State News Broadcast With Anti-War Protest

An employee on Russian state-controlled Channel One television interrupted an evening news program on March 14 to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at the TV channel, ran onto the set of the live broadcast with a sign that read, “No war. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

Ovsyannikova also shouted, “Stop the war. No to war.”

The news anchor spoke louder in reading from her teleprompter in an attempt to drown out Ovsyannikova before the program director cut early to a recorded news segment.

According to human rights group OVD-info, police arrested Ovsyannikova shortly after the protest and was holding her in a police station in Moscow.

Before the protest, Ovsyannikova released a pre-recorded video on social media, calling on Russians to protest against the war “to stop all this madness.”

“Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now. Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people,” Ovsyannikova said.

“What is happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor. The responsibility of this aggression lies on the shoulders of only one person: Vladimir Putin,” Ovsyannikova further said.

Ovsyannikova also said that her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian.

The protest marks the first time a Russian state media employee publicly denounced the war.

Ovsyannikova could face up to 15 years in prison under a new Russian legislation introduced since the invasion of Ukraine to criminalize spreading so-called “fake news” about the Russian military.

Ovsyannikova could also face legal consequences for encouraging “civil unrest.”

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