Producer who protested war on Russian TV fined

March 15 (UPI) -- A Russia's state Channel One editor and television producer who popped up behind the live news broadcast's anchor with an antiwar message has been fined 30,000 rubles, or $280.

Marina Ovsyannikova protested the Russian invasion of Ukraine by popping up on the set of the live broadcast Monday night, shouting "Stop the war. No to War," while holding the antiwar sign, The Guardian reported.


The sign said "No War," followed by "Don't believe the propaganda. They're lying to you here," according to the Guardian's English translation, then "Russians against the war," in English.

OVD-info, an independent Russian human rights group that has tracked 14,962 detentions for antiwar protests since the country invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, said the producer was detained during the protest and her lawyers, Dmitry Zakhvatov and Anastasia Kostanov, were not allowed to see her.


Along with protesting during the live broadcast, Ovsyannikova also encouraged Russians to join antiwar protests in a pre-recorded video statement. She was fined 30,000 rubles after appearing in court Tuesday for the publication of the video.

Lawyers from the human rights group told The Washington Post they were unable to reach Ovsyannikova more than 12 hours after she was detained.

The Russian Investigative Committee, a main federal investigating authority in the country, has begun a preliminary inquiry, an anonymous law enforcement source told Russia's state-run TASS news agency.

"A preliminary inquiry is being conducted regarding Ovsyannikova to determine whether her actions constitute a crime under Article 207.3 of the Russian Criminal Code ('Public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation')," the source said.

The source added that she was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1978, and she had been detained.

Earlier this month, the State Duma adopted amendments that increase the maximum possible punishment under the article Ovsyannikova is accused of violating to 15 years in prison.

Along with encouraging protest in the pre-recorded video statement, Ovsyannikova expressed shame for working for Channel One and spreading "Kremlin propaganda," along with encouraging Russians to join the antiwar protests in Moscow.


"Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now," Ovsyannikova said in the video. "Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of the Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning. We did not go out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned [opposition leader Alexei] Navalny."

"We are just silently watching this anti-human regime," she continued. "And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won't be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war."

Ovsyannikova also said in the video statement that he father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian.

"What is happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor," she added. "The responsibility of this aggression lies on the shoulders of only one person: Vladimir Putin."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his gratitude to her for speaking out in a video address on Monday night.

"I'm thankful to those Russians who don't stop trying to deliver the truth, who are fighting against disinformation and tell real facts to their friends and families, and personally to that woman who went into the studio of Channel One with an antiwar poster," Zelensky said.


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