A live newscast of Russian’s state-run TV Channel One on Monday was interrupted by a protester who shouted “Stop the war!” and held up a hand-written sign that said “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”
She was later identified as Marina Ovsyannikova, a former editor at the network, according to Guardian.
Before storming the broadcast, she shared a pre-recorded video to social media in which told the Russian public: “What is going on in Ukraine now is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor. The responsibility for this aggression lies only on one person and that person is Vladimir Putin.”
Ovsyannikova, who said her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian, also apologized for “working on Kremlin propaganda.”
“Unfortunately, I have been working at Channel One during recent years, working on Kremlin propaganda, and now I am very ashamed. I’m ashamed that I’ve allowed the lies to be said on Tv screens. I am ashamed that I let the Russian people be zombified.”
According to kevin rothrock, who runs The Russia Guy podcast, the last thing she says in the video is, “They can’t lock us all away.” He also noted that her Facebook account, where she initially published the video is private, and not the “pro-invasion” one that turns up in search results.
The human rights group OVD-Info reports that Ovsyannikova was arrested shortly after her protest and is being held in a police station in Moscow. She could face up to 15 years in jail under Russia’s new law that prohibits “fake news” that contradicts official messaging. The new law prompted the New York Times and several other outlets to stop broadcasting in Russia.
Channel One later shared a statement from Russian state news agency TASS that said, “an incident took place with an extraneous woman in shot. An internal check is being carried out.” Ovsyannikova’s sign was blurred out in the channel’s reports about the incident.
According to The Guardian, this is the first time that an employee from Russian state media has publicly denounced the war.