As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, information flowing in and out of Russia is being strictly regulated in order to prevent Russian citizens from turning against the government in protest. Many global news networks have been disconnected, with only Russian national news still playing uninterrupted. Even with only the national news available, however, protestors are determined to make their opposition to the war heard.
On Monday night, during the evening news broadcast on Russia’s state-owned Channel One, journalist and editor Marina Ovsyannikova interrupted the broadcast to hold up an anti-war sign and urge viewers not to believe what the news is telling them. The sign, translated from Russian, read “No war, stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.”
Prior to this protest, Ovsyannikova had been posting protesting videos on her personal social media, which was obtained afterwards by human rights group OVD-Info. “Russia is the aggressor. And the responsibility for this crime lies only on the conscience of one person, and that person is Vladimir Putin,” she said in the video.
?A Russian journalist who protested against the war on the country’s most popular TV channel has been missing overnight.
The whereabouts of Marina Ovsyannikova remain unknown ??https://t.co/l8MevbYPPJ pic.twitter.com/bU4RoEJ65m
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 15, 2022
“My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian. They were never enemies,” she continued, adding that she was ashamed to have contributed to Moscow’s propaganda efforts.
Since appearing on Channel One, Ovsyannikova has gone missing. She is believed to be in police custody, though her current whereabouts have not yet been confirmed at time of writing. It is possible Ovsyannikova will be jailed for her protest, as earlier in the month, the Kremlin announced that referring to the Ukraine invasion as a “war” was an act of spreading false news, and could be punished by up to 15 years in prison.