The scene took place on Monday, March 14 during “Vremia” (“Time”), the main evening news program of the most powerful Russian television channel, Pervy Kanal, a daily appointment followed by millions of Russians since Soviet times.
While the famous presenter Ekaterina Andreyeva is speaking, a woman appears behind her with a sign that reads:
“No to war. Don’t believe the propaganda. You are being lied to here”
‘The Russians are against the war’we can still read on the sign on which the flags of Ukraine and that of Russia are drawn.
Unperturbed, the presenter continues to talk for a few seconds while the protester sings “stop the war”then the station rushes to broadcast a hospital report, ending the live broadcast on set.
Russian is not free at all. They have no free media, political competition, protest rallies. Every protest is a… https://t.co/ySsrmCGwYD
The protester’s rights NGO OVD-Info, which presents this protester as Marina Ovsiannikova, an employee of the station, reported that she had been arrested and taken to the police station. According to Tass news agency, she could be prosecuted for having “the use of Russian armed forces discredited”†
“Internal investigation is underway” on this “incident”said the station Pervy Kanal laconically in a statement.
“Embarrassed to have had lies broadcast on television”
The Russian government recently passed several laws providing for severe penalties of up to 15 years in prison for the dissemination of what the authorities consider to be “false news” on the military. The simple use of the word “war” by media or individuals to describe the Russian intervention in Ukraine may be prosecuted.
In a video previously shot and published by OVD-Info, Marina Ovsiannikova explains that her father, who is Ukrainian and her mother Russian, cannot see the two countries as enemies.
“What is happening in Ukraine right now is a crime. The full responsibility for this aggression rests with the conscience of one person: Vladimir Putin.”she says to start.
“Unfortunately, I have worked for Pervy Kanal for the past few years, making propaganda for the Kremlin. I’m very ashamed of it today.”she added. “I am ashamed that I let lies broadcast on television, I am ashamed that I have ‘zombified’ the Russian people”she apologizes.
English translation of Marina Ovsyannikova’s statement before her on-air protest and subsequent arrest tonight.… https://t.co/o0zJIlcjpm
The video of the incident, lasting just a handful of seconds, has spread like wildfire on social networks, with many internet users “extraordinary courage” of this woman, in a context of brutal repression against all forms of dissent.
Several thousand protesters have been arrested in Russia since the intervention in Ukraine began on February 24, including more than 5,000 on March 6 alone.
Leonid Volkov, a close friend of opponent Alexei Navalny, who has been imprisoned since last year after surviving the poisoning, said on Twitter that his move “ready to pay any fine” which would be inflicted on M.me Ovshannikova.
In their effort to control all information about the conflict, the authorities have blocked most independent media outlets, as well as major social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. Most Russians therefore only have access to the version published by the government and Kremlin-controlled media, including Pervy Kanal, of a “special military operation” aim for “denazify” Ukraine and to prevent “genocide”†