‘No War’: Editor In Russian State TV Studio Stages Protest During Live Broadcast

Published March 15th, 2022 - 06:12 GMT
Russian protestor TV
Marina Ovsyannikova walked into the main evening news on Channel One Russia with a no-war sign.. (Twitter)

During the first few days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, thousands of Russians took to the streets of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and 35 other cities in opposition of the war. Yet, their protests were quickly dispersed and thousands have been reported arrested as a result.

According to Russia's independent human rights group OVD-Info, at least 14915 individuals have been reportedly arrested by Russian authorities for their anti-war views.

This has not, however, discouraged some Russian activists from staging their own protests in rejection of the war in Ukraine, including an editor in the state-owned and highly watched Channel One Russia, holding a "no-war" sign.

The news editor has been identified as Marina Ovsyannikova. As she walked into the studio last night, Maria was shouting "Stop the war! No to war! Stop the war! No to war!". She also held a sign reading: "Don't believe the propaganda" and "They are lying to you here."

Marina Ovsyannikova's brief appearance on TV has sparked wide online discussions over how increasingly difficult it has become to express opposition to the war in Russia, where freedom of speech and assembly have been harshly crushed since the first days of the conflict.

Online people also shared a video that appears to have been recorded by Marina Ovsyannikova beforehand and shared on her personal Facebook account, in which she explains her anti-war position and says that her father is Ukrainian. Moreover, Ovsyannikova's Facebook page burst into comments that expressed solidarity and appreciation for her brave stance.

On the 24th of February, Russian troops started their military operation in Ukraine, with Russian government statements citing the "disarming and neutralization" of Ukraine as the main purpose of the invasion. 

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