It’s nearly impossible for many of us to imagine living in a country where the so-called “mainstream media” and right-wing propaganda machines are one in the same. A place where tyrannical leaders and oligarchs are the ones dictating and force-feeding the “news” aka alternative reality to their citizens. But that’s exactly what it’s like for the people of Russia, who are restricted from accessing even social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram, out of fear that they will understand what is really happening in their country, and how the world is reacting to the current Russia Ukraine War.
But every once in a while, a courageous individual comes along and risks their own personal safety for the sake of their country. Which is exactly what Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor for Russia’s Channel 1, did on Monday. During a live broadcast, Ovsyannikova suddenly appeared on viewers’ screens, holding up a sign that read “Stop the war! Don’t believe propaganda! They’re lying to you here!” while yelling, “No to war! Stop the war!”
Apparently, a woman just ran onto the stage during a Russian state television news broadcast with a sign that said, “Stop the war! Don’t believe propaganda! They’re lying to you here!” pic.twitter.com/nn5XWsh4Wn
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 14, 2022
Ovsyannikova only managed to get about five seconds of screen time until the camera cut to some stock footage of a hospital. She was promptly arrested and charged with “discrediting the Russian armed forces.” As of Tuesday morning, a number of well-respected media outlets, including The Washington Post, were reporting that Ovsyannikova had gone missing and could not be located, according to her lawyers. However, as The Daily Beast reports, she has now resurfaced—and for unknown reasons won’t be charged with violating the newly installed “fake news” laws, which could have meant spending up to 15 years in prison. Instead, she’s looking at up to 10 days in prison for a much lesser offense.
Marina Ovsyannikova, editor at Channel One, who stormed state TV studio with an anti-war poster, is accused of an administrative offense under protesting laws, not fake news laws. So far she faces up to 10 days of arrest, RBC reports. Here is first photo of her since last night. pic.twitter.com/6G2rOxeNmv
— Mary Ilyushina (@maryilyushina) March 15, 2022
While there’s no explanation yet for how and why Ovsyannikova fortunately managed to escape a much harsher punishment, we do know that her act of bravery has left much of Russia stunned. As Raw Story reports, Anderson Cooper spoke with Yakov Kronrod, an American citizen who traveled to Russia before Putin invaded Ukraine in order to take care of his ailing grandmother. Konrod, who is now working to get his grandmother out of Russia, said that the enormity of Ovsyannikova’s act was too big to ignore, and that even other state-run media outlets were reporting on it, noting:
“It sends shock waves through all of Russian society. Yandex News had a story about it, and they rarely have anything that’s against the main narrative. Her Facebook page was getting thousands of people commenting every minute. Literally, it exploded. Everyone was texting each other, calling each other saying, did you see? Did you see what happened? And many of the human rights activists that I’m talking to feel this may very well be the start of the wave to see someone like that Channel 1 has 250 million viewers, it’s the number one watched station by most common Russians. For a lot of Russians, this was the first time they saw any dissenting voice.”
You can watch Kronrod’s interview with Cooper below.
(Via Raw Story)