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Russian TV protestor hailed as ‘unflinchingly brave’ to risk freedom for anti-war message

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Ms Ovsyannikova, who was an editor for Channel One, a Russian TV network which has over 250 million viewers across the globe, expressed her feelings of guilt at working “for the Kremlin” and risked her freedom to protest the war. The Russian TV network employee recorded a video message before she crashed the live Russian state news broadcast in which she explains that her father is Ukrainian, and her mother is Russian.

Ms Ovsyannikova said: “Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda and I am very ashamed of it. 

“That I let people lie from TV screens and allowed the Russian people to be zombified. We didn’t say anything in 2014 when it only just began.”

She then went on to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war and called upon Russians to protest stating: “Only we have the power to stop all this madness.

“The responsibility for this aggression lies with one man: Vladimir Putin.”

The act of bravery by Ms Ovsyannikova put her at risk of a 15-year jail sentence for protesting the war and it has been reported that she was detained and taken into police custody after the TV stint.

Brian Klass, Associate Professor in Global politics at University College London, warned on Twitter that the “consequences will be severe”.

The reason for her arrest is reported by the TASS news agency stating her “public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens, maintain international peace and security”.

US Senator Bernie Sanders also praised the protest saying: “Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at a TV channel in Russia, interrupted a live broadcast with a sign that read ‘NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.’ She has since been detained. This is an act of incredible courage.”

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Labour MP David Lammy tweeted about the strength of the protestors, stating: “The unflinchingly brave protestors in Russia challenging Putin’s barbaric war deserve our complete admiration and respect.”

President Zelensky thanked Marina and other Russian protestors in his nightly address on Monday saying: “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth.

“To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones.

“And personally, to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”



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