The Russian television worker, who protested against the war in Ukraine on camera, is extremely concerned about her safety. “I believe in what I did, but now I understand the magnitude of the problems I have to deal with,” Marina Ovzyannikova said in an interview with the Reuters news agency on Wednesday. “And of course I am extremely concerned about my safety.”
However, she has no intention of fleeing Russia and hopes that she will not be prosecuted. Ovsyannikova was fined 30,000 rubles (about 250 euros) on Tuesday after the Moscow presidential office criticized her protest as hooliganism a few hours earlier.
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He explained to the German news magazine “Spiegel” how he implemented the protest action in the first place. At the beginning of his shift in the studio, he first looked at exactly where the cameras were, how he could move and where he could stand.
“I was very afraid that in the end it might all be in vain if no one saw me,” Ovsyannikova told Der Spiegel. She then quickly ran into the studio, “past the policeman who is always on duty with us.” She couldn’t react anymore.
Immediately after the action, he returned to his workplace and waited. “Then a lot of bosses came up to me; they all said, ‘Is that you?’ No one really wanted to believe that.”
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The action caused private problems, Owsjannikova also described. Her son accused her of “destroying all our lives.” “Anything can happen,” Ovsyannikova said. She has passed the point of no return. “I’m enemy number one here now.”
On Monday night, during a live news broadcast on the state television station Kanal One, Ovsyannikova stood behind the presenter with a sign calling for an end to the war in Ukraine and warning against propaganda. “I don’t feel like a hero at all,” she said in the Reuters interview. However, she hopes that she has not made the sacrifice in vain and that the Russian population will question the propaganda more closely and find other sources of information.
In addition to the fine already imposed, Ovsyannikova faces another sanction. Investigations have been launched into the alleged spread of lies about Russia’s armed forces, the state agency TASS reported, citing a source from the investigating authorities. It was feared that Ovssyannikova could still be prosecuted under the new media law, which provides for up to 15 years in prison.
The opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta dedicated its front page to Ovzyannikova on Wednesday. The newspaper published a full-page image of Ovsyannikova with her banner, which she had held up to the camera behind the Channel One newscaster on Monday night, but pixelated the word “war” three times. In Russia, the media is officially prohibited from talking about “war”, “invasion” or “invasion” in neighboring Ukraine.
On Telegram, Novaya Gazeta later complained that many newsstands refused to sell the issue. The journalists invited their readers to pick up the newspaper in person at the Moscow editorial office, which is headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitri Muratov. (AP, Reuters)