Russian Journalist Who Disrupted Broadcast: I’m Afraid, But I’m Staying in Russia

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Marina Ovsyannikova (44), the journalist who disrupted the TV news on Russian state television on Monday evening to protest the war in Ukraine, has no intention of leaving Russia.


“We will remain in Russia,” she told Der Spiegel German newspaper.

On Monday evening, Ovshannikova broke into a news broadcast on the state channel Pervy Kanal. She stood behind the news anchor holding a sign that read, “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they’re lying to you here.” Her protest made the international media. Russian news media must abide by the Kremlin’s line; whoever violates it risks severe penalties.

Immediately after the protest, Ovshannikova was arrested. Yesterday she was released and sentenced to a fine of 30,000 rubles (about 256 euros). Yesterday she was released; she is now in hiding with friends.

At the time of her protest, Ovsyannikova said she did not think about the consequences. “I am only now becoming aware of this. Every day more and more,” she says in Der Spiegel. “I can’t go back to my old life anymore.” She is very concerned. She fears for her safety and realizes that she can no longer retrace her steps. Yet she “definitely does not want to leave Russia.”

State news agency TASS reported that an investigation had been launched into the alleged spreading of lies about the Russian army. Under a new law, that offence can be punished with a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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