A protester against war disrupted the main news program on Russia’s top state TV station. He held a sign that said: “They lie to you.”
The woman, thought to have been a long-time employee of the company, marched on to the set behind the presenter carrying a placard decrying the invasion of Ukraine .
It reads: “No war.” Russians oppose war.
It said in Russian: “NO WAR. Stop fighting. Don’t believe propaganda. They will lie to you.”
As she stood beside the host, who continued reading from her autocues, the demonstrator – Marina Ovsyannikova was heard saying: “Stop fighting!” There is no war! Stop fighting! There is no war!
After the broadcast switched to an alternative output, she could still be heard.
Kira Yarmysh is a spokesperson for Alexei Navalny (a Kremlin critic jailed). She posted the footage on Twitter with the caption “Wow, that girl’s cool.”
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The woman was identified by OVD-Info (an independent protest-monitoring organization) and the head of Agora human right group as Ms Ovsyannikova. She is an employee of the channel.
She claims her father is Ukrainian, and her mother Russian. The protester also posted a video of her before the demonstration in which she blamed President Vladimir Putin.
She stated that she was “unfortunately” a Channel One employee in recent years. She worked for the Kremlin’s propaganda, and that it made her very ashamed.
She said, “We kept silent during 2014 when all this was just at the beginning (annexation Crimea). When the Kremlin poisoned Navalny, we didn’t attend rallies. We just sat silently and watched this cruel regime. The world has abandoned us now, and even 10 generations will not be enough for this shameful fratricidal war to end.
“We, the Russian people are smart and thoughtful. This madness must be stopped. Don’t be afraid to attend rallies. They can’t lock us all up.
Pavel Chikov, the head of Agora, stated that the demonstrator was taken into custody and taken to a Moscow station.
Tass news agency reported that Channel One has begun an internal investigation into the incident.
It is broadcast in Russia and has more viewers than 250 million worldwide.
It closely follows the Kremlin line, that Moscow was forced into acting in Ukraine to demilitarize and “de-Nazify”, the country in “special military operations”.
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Russia introduced new legislation in recent weeks to curb free speech. It claims that it is trying to stop the “public dissemination deliberately false information”.
The Channel One protester could spend between three and fifteen years in prison if he is convicted under the law.
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