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Russian journalist interrupts live broadcast with brave anti-war protest: 'They can't lock us all away'

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Image source: Twitter video screenshot

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova bravely protested the Ukraine war on Monday during a live broadcast on Russian media.

What happened?

During a live broadcast on Channel One, Russia's most popular TV network, Ovsyannikova disrupted the broadcast by walking onto the set and holding a sign to protest the war in Ukraine. Ovsyannikova is reportedly an editor at the network.

The woman chanted, "Stop the war, no to war." Her sign said in English, "NO WAR" and "Russians against war." In Russian, the sign said, "Stop the war! Don’t believe propaganda! They are lying to you!"

Producers quickly cut away from the live shot, and the anchor whom Ovsyannikova disrupted raised her voice in an attempt to drown out Ovsyannikova's protests.

Before her protest, Ovsyannikova recorded a video explaining her motive for speaking out against Putin and his war and said she is "ashamed" of helping spread Kremlin propaganda as a journalist.

"What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. And Russia is the aggressor here. And responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of a single man: Vladimir Putin," Ovsyannikova said, according to a translation of the video.

She continued:

My father is Ukrainian. My mother is Russian. And they’ve never been enemies. And this necklace I’m wearing is a symbol of that fact that Russia must immediately end this fratricidal war. And our fraternal peoples will still be able to make peace.

Unfortunately, I’ve spent many of the last few years working for Channel One, doing Kremlin propaganda, and I’m deeply ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to come from the TV screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when all this had just started.

We didn’t protest when the Kremlin poisoned [Russian opposition leader Alexi] Navalny. We just silently watched this anti-human regime at work. And now the whole world has turned its back on us. And the next 10 generations won’t wash away the stain of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people.

It’s in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t lock us all away.

What is happening now?

Lawyers initially said they could not locate Ovsyannikova after she was detained. However, the BBC reported that Ovsyannikova appeared in court Tuesday.

She has reportedly been charged with "organizing an unauthorized public event."

Still, Ovsyannikova and other Russian journalists who protest the war could be hit with severe prison sentences after Russian lawmakers passed a law earlier this month criminalizing "fake" news, which is defined as essentially anything that contradicts the Kremlin's narrative. Journalists can be imprisoned for 15 years under the law.

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