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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Russian TV Journalist Who Defied Putin’s Command On-Air, Arrested

One of her boldest acts of anti-war protests includes her public outburst on national television when she stormed onto the set of Russia’s Channel One holding a poster that read in Russian “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you”

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MOSCOW: Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who garnered wide media coverage, for her bold acts against anti-war protest, has been detained by the police near her house in the Moscow region while she was out walking her two dogs, she and her lawyer announced on July 17.

Ovsyannikova described her dangerous ordeal in an Instagram post, saying she was taken to the police station in the capital’s Krasnoselsky district.

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She also wrote that she had been indicted on charges of “discrediting the actions of the army of Russia” during an interview she gave near the Basmanny Court of Moscow for supporting opposition politician Ilya Yashin, who himself rots in pretrial detention as a national traitor, for allegedly spreading misinformation about the Russian military.

Last week Ovsyannikova staged a single picket against the Kremlin’s backdrop, brandishing a slogan with the inscription, “Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists” along with photos of slaughtered Ukrainian children. She was not detained at the time.

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On March 14, she pulled out the big guns publicly on the set of the Vremya news program on Russia’s Channel One holding a poster reading in part “Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They are lying to you” in Russian. She also shouted in Russian “Stop the war. No to war”, publicising her criticism of the Kremlin’s decision to launch a military attack against Ukraine.

Ovsyannikova, who also happened to be the producer of Channel One at the time of her protest, published her first op-ed in Die Welt’s online edition on April 11. The scandalizing piece, entitled The Russians Are Afraid, was a scathing attack on Russian censorship and discussed the consequences of her protest.

She was later detained, fined 30,000 rubles (about $500) by a court that accused her of inciting illegal protests.

She quit Channel One and spent several months abroad, including Ukraine, boldly expressing her anti-war sentiments against Russia. After training with the German edition of Die Welt, she announced her return to Russia in early July.

Russia continues to deploy its state-run watchdogs to keep the entire public sphere of the country under its watchful eye, imposing strict surveillance on press and calling for censorship, detentions and prosecutions against activists and politicians who challenge the Kremlin on its Ukrainian standpoint. While Ukraine struggles to stay afloat with its people, Russia calls its invasion, not a humanitarian crisis but a “special operation”.

ALSO READ: Moscow Still Expects to Reach a Peaceful Conclusion with Ukraine: Russian President Vladimir Putin


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