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Former Russian state TV journalist claims Putin ‘doesn’t have enough Novichok’ to kill critics

Former Russian state TV journalists claimed that a “isolated Vladimir Putin” “doesn’t have enough Novichok to kill his increasing number of critics.”

The Russian dissident Marina Ovsyannikova who was in the news last year for her protests against the war on Ukraine spoke with Beth Rigby interviews, where she provoked President Putin once again.

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“I don’t think Putin has enough Novichok to cover all of his enemies,” she said. She said that when the war began, more people spoke out against the regime.


Novichok is the nerve agent of military grade used in the 2018 Salisbury Poisonings and the attack on the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, in 2020.

Ms Ovsyannikova who worked at Channel One Russia from 2003 to last year expressed her hope that the Russian President could be overthrown by those around him and responded to recent criticisms of Mr Putin made by Yevgeny Prgozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary Group.

Ramzan Kadyrov is another Putin-loyalist, the leader of the Chechen Republic, and also a general colonel in the Russian army, who has openly criticized the performance of Russian troops in Ukraine.

Beth Rigby Interviews: More Information

Ms Ovsyannikova stated: “I believe Ukraine will begin winning the war, and then this division will only divide the elites.”

“Look at what Prigozhin says. Prigozhin speaks up. Then [Ramzan] Kadyrov also says something else. “I hope the system will collapse from within.”

When asked if Russia’s elites could overthrow Putin Ms Ovsyannikova replied that Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader, is currently in prison and “there is no one who can consolidate people”.

She continued: “There’s no active organization.” I believe the elites are going to split and this may not be a traditional coup. Putin is unlikely to be poisoned or killed, but someone in his inner circle may come up to him and tell him, Vladimir, the war is losing. It’s time for you to leave.

This will be his final day, if Russia loses. It is obvious. He is afraid for his life. He’s in his bunker. He’s isolated.”

Image: Marina Ovsyannikova & Beth Rigby

Ms Ovsyannikova called Navalny a “hero”, but added that even his death wouldn’t be enough to get people to take to the streets to protest.

She expressed her concern over his declining health by telling Sky News that “we know he is being tortured right in front of everyone’s eyes.” God forbid that he should die. But I don’t think it will cause any protests, because the Russian people are already intimidated. There is nothing to make them take to their streets.

The police are everywhere. If you raise your head, your life could be turned upside down.

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Ms Ovsyannikova touched on the arrest of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, and described it as Putin’s way to send a “signal” to foreign journalists not to enter his country.

She did mention that Mr Gershkovich might be released as part of a prisoner exchange.

“Evan Gershkovich has been taken as hostage, and will be used to represent the country.” “He will be traded for other Putin loyalists who are in American or British jails,” said she.

“But I also believe that Putin sent an extremely strong message to all foreign reporters with this.” Stay away from here. “Russia is a dangerous country.”

Ms Ovsyannikova, who worked for the Russian state television channel where she protested against the war in Ukraine, described her feeling of being compelled after witnessing the invasion by Russia.

She said, “When war broke out, I couldn’t turn away. There was blood. Millions of refugees were displaced. All of that was on my screen. This is not the propaganda. All this was a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

“I am able to say that for me the war was a point where I had no choice but to speak up. I felt like I was in a parallel universe. “That the country was becoming completely totalitarian.”

Watch Beth Rigby interviews on Sky News tonight at 9pm


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