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15th Mar 2022

Russian journalist who protested against the war on live TV arrested

President Zelenskyy has praised her for her bravery.

A Russian journalist who carried out an on-air protest against the war in Ukraine on state TV has been arrested, saying she will wear the consequences of her actions as “a badge of honour.”

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor on the Russian TV channel Pervyi Kanal (Channel One) ran onto camera during her channel’s news broadcast with a sign reading: “NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

She later received praise from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who spoke directly to her following the protest, CNN reports.

Zelenskyy later said in a video: “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,” he continued.

“To those who are not afraid to protest. As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight. You must not lose your chance.”

Ovsyannikova’s lawyer had said that he was unable to locate his client following her arrest but on Tuesday morning.

In a message recorded before her protest, Ovsyannikova said the war in Ukraine is a “crime and Russia is the aggressor,” but that this aggression “lies with one man: Putin.”

She also explains that her father is Ukrainian and that she is “ashamed” of the “Kremlin propaganda” she has been helping broadcast since she started working for Channel One.

She continued: “We didn’t say anything in 2014 when it only just began. We didn’t protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny.

“We just silently watched this inhuman regime.

“Now the whole world has turned away from us, and ten generations of our descendants won’t wash off this fratricidal war.”

Channel One was the first station to broadcast in the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union and has more than 250 million viewers across the world.