Marina Ovsyannikova, Russian TV protester, decries Putin propaganda | Ukraine

The Russian TV editor who interrupted a news broadcast to protest the Ukraine war said on Sunday she acted out of dissatisfaction at propaganda disseminated by Vladimir Putin’s government, and said she had turned down an offer of asylum in France despite fearing further retaliation.

Marina Ovsyannikova, who describes herself as “a patriot”, was fined 30,000 rubles ($280) by a court in Moscow last week for the “spontaneous” act of rebellion in which she appeared during the live newscast with a sign saying “No War” .

On Sunday, she told ABC’s This Week she needed to speak out after watching her employer, Channel One, spread “lies” about the Ukraine war.

“After a week of coverage of this situation, the atmosphere on the channel was so unpleasant that I realized that I could not go back there,” she said. “I could see what in reality was happening in Ukraine. And what we showed on our programs was very different from what was going on in reality.”

She said the knowledge the channel was imparting false information ate away at her.

“I could not believe that such a thing could happen, that this gruesome war could take place. And as soon as the war began, I could not eat. I could not sleep,” she said, adding that she had considered joining public protests in Moscow.

“I could see security dragging people away … and I decided that this was going to be a rather useless action on my part. Maybe I could do something more meaningful, with more impact, where I could show to the rest of the world that Russians are against the war.

“And I could show to the Russian people that this is just propaganda, expose this propaganda for what it is and maybe stimulate some people to speak up against the war.”

Ovsyannikova, who could face further action after the Kremlin suggested she breached rules on “hooliganism”, said the French president Emmanuel Macron offered her asylum but she turned it down.

“I am very worried about the safety of my children, first and foremost. And I’m very grateful to Mr Macron for his offer, but I have publicly refused to take political asylum in France because I am a patriot,” she said.

“I want to live in Russia. My children want to live in Russia. We had a very comfortable life in Russia. And I don’t want to immigrate and lose another 10 years of my life to assimilate in some other country.

“And now I believe in the history of my country. The times are very dark and very difficult, and every person who has a civil position who wants to make that civil position known must speak up.”

Leave a Comment