Because of war protest: Russian journalist should pay 30,000 rubles fine

“Stop the War”
Because of war protest – Russian journalist is to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles

Marina Ovsyannikova’s courageous protest action during a live broadcast with host Ekaterina Andreyeva.

© Italy Photo Press / imago images

A woman’s brief appearance during a live broadcast on Russia’s largest news channel was both courageous and dangerous. Armed with a poster and protesting loudly, she stood behind the moderator – to shake the Russian population awake.

It’s 9 p.m. Moscow time on Monday evening when the evening’s main news program, hosted by Yekaterina Andreeva, is interrupted during a live broadcast. A woman walks into the picture. In her hand she is holding a poster that reads in large letters: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They lie to you.” She shouted out loud several times: “No to war!” The picture breaks off. The transmitter Rossiya 1 has stopped broadcasting. You can now see pictures from a hospital.

The demonstrator Marina Ovsyannikova is said to have been taken to the police station in Moscow

The woman is Marina Ovsyannikova (various spellings circulate online – Ovsyannikova), who works as a journalist for the First Channel of Russian State Television. Following her courageous performance, she was taken to the police station in Moscow, reports the Russian-language website The Insider. The station itself kept a low profile. In a message, they only spoke of an “incident” and announced an internal audit, according to the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND).

Marina Ovsyannikova announced her action before the broadcast. In a video shared widely that same evening, she reportedly said: “What is happening in Ukraine now is a crime. Russia is the aggressor.” All responsibility would rest with one person only: Vladimir Putin. “My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian. They were never enemies,” she is said to have said.

The Kremlin has been spreading propaganda for years

She has “unfortunately” worked at Rossja 1 in recent years and promoted “Kremlin propaganda”, “and I am very ashamed of that. I am ashamed that I allowed Russian people to be zombified,” says Ovsyannikova in the video. “We were silent when it all started in 2014, we didn’t come out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny. We continue to watch this inhumane regime calmly. Now the whole world is turning its back on us. Ten generations of our descendants will not be able to wash away the shame of this fratricidal war.”

The ex-editor-in-chief of the closed Ekho Moskvy radio station, Alexey Venediktov, wrote on Twitter that lawyers from the civil rights organization OWD-Info were unable to contact the journalist more than ten hours after the protest. For a long time it was not clear how Marina Ovsyannikova was doing. According to the Russian state agency “Tass” (Russian “Tacc”), proceedings have been initiated against them, according to “Focus”. According to a new law in Russia, alleged false information about the invasion of Ukraine and the Russian armed forces could result in high penalties – up to 15 years in prison.

Now it became known that Ovsyannikova was convicted in a Moscow court. You have to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles (about 260 euros), according to OWD-Info. The criminal basis is the call for protests against Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Alexei Venediktov previously published a photo of Marina Ovsyannikova with her lawyer Anton Gashinsky in a courthouse on a Telegram channel on Tuesday, according to RND.

Vladimir Putin uses state media to spread his propaganda

Knowledge is power – and it is precisely this power that Vladimir Putin mercilessly exploits. The attitude of Russians to the Ukraine war is being strongly influenced by the increasing censorship and propaganda by Moscow. Independent opinions are hardly accessible anymore. The media, which can still be reached at the moment, are forbidden from calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “war” or an “invasion”. Instead, there is talk of a “special military operation” for “demilitarization” and “denazification”.

It is difficult to get alternative information besides the state media. The regime in Moscow has initiated proceedings against the US group Meta because it had allowed hate speech against the Russian military. In addition, pictures repeatedly appear on state television showing the Russian soldiers on a peaceful mission, how they hand over food packages to the Ukrainians, among other things, or how they have to fight their way through mined areas that were sneakily built by the Ukrainians. The Russians are shown what they are supposed to see.

Russia: Between trust in Putin and demonstrations against the power regime

The problem: Many Russians believe the state media. There would be no war and the pictures of the suffering of the Ukrainians were only fake, according to the result of a street poll in Russia, which was shown in a special broadcast on ARD.

Despite the severe penalties that threaten demonstrators, many Russians refuse to be dissuaded from taking a stand against the war and thus against the ruler Putin. More than 15,000 people have already been arrested at demonstrations in Russia.

Marina Ovsyannikova is celebrated around the world for her courage. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked her.

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