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This is Marina Ovsyannikova, who spoke out against Putin’s war on Russian television, and is now on trial.

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“Stop the war. Do not believe the propaganda. They will lie to you here. The Russians are against the war.” With these phrases on a poster on Moscow state television, editor Marina Ovsyannikova protested against Russia’s attack on Ukraine On the main news show “Vremya,” she held her sign up to the camera and paced back and forth as anchorwoman Ekaterina Andreeva spoke about Western sanctions.”No to war!” interrupt the transmission and show another report.

The protest by the 44-year-old mother of two is unprecedented in the quasi-military broadcast of state television with employees loyal to the Kremlin.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the incident as “hooliganism”. However, the state media could not help but report on it. The importance of the “Wremja” program is comparable to that of the “Tagesschau” in Germany.

After her protest, Owsyannikova is now on trial. Prominent Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov published a photo of her on Tuesday showing her with her lawyer Anton Gashinsky in court. Before that there had been no sign of her for hours.

Russian media reported that the television worker was being prosecuted for organizing an unauthorized public event. He faces ten days’ arrest or a fine of 30,000 rubles (226 euros) or up to 50 hours of community service. However, there are also fears that the publisher could be prosecuted under the new law for defaming the Russian military. There is a risk of up to 15 years in prison.

In the Russian media it is forbidden to talk about war. The government calls the war in Ukraine a “special military operation.”

Ovsjannikova had recorded a video before the television appearance, which was quickly released after the action. In it, the station employee says that she is ashamed of having broadcast Kremlin propaganda for years. “What is happening in Ukraine is a crime.” Only Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for the aggression. He called on his compatriots to protest against the war. “It’s up to us to put an end to all this madness.” The state cannot lock up everyone.

The mother of two explains her reasons in a video

Ovzyannikova, who wears a necklace in the colors of the Russian and Ukrainian flags in the video, says she is the daughter of a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother, “and they were never enemies.” “This chain around my neck is like a symbol that Russia must stop the fratricidal war immediately and that our brother peoples can still reconcile.”

Following his protest, he received a wave of recognition around the world. The recording of the scene in which she appears behind the newscaster with a handwritten sign was widely shared on Tuesday. “What courage really means,” wrote pianist Igor Levit. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked him. He praised the Russians “who try to tell the truth.”

And Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s camp also thanked him after he criticized in the video that the Kremlin opponent had been poisoned. To this day, Russia’s Kremlin and state television deny that Navalny barely survived an assassination attempt with the nerve agent Novichok in 2020. Navalny, who is in a prison camp and faces many years prisoner in a controversial new trial, held Putin personally responsible for the attack with the banned chemical warfare agent.

Navalny’s team announced that it would support the TV publisher. Mann wanted to accept whatever sanctions could be imposed on him, Maria Pewtschich of Navalny’s team wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. Russian journalists are not allowed to talk about war, only about a “special military operation”. There was still hope that he could just keep a fine.


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