Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who staged an anti-war protest on live TV, is appearing in a Moscow court today (15 March).
According to a tweet shared by Will Vernon, senior producer from the BBC News Moscow Bureau, Ovsyannikova is charged with 'organising an unauthorised public event'.
The tweet adds that she faces a fine of up to 30,000 roubles (£200), community service and up to 10 days in jail.
The protester made headlines this week after ambushing Russia’s state Channel One live news feed and hijacking viewer's attention for a few precious seconds to rally against Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest during live TV news prog last night, is appearing in court in Moscow now, charged with “organising an unauthorised public event” (protest). Possible punishments: fine < 30,000 roubles (£200)/community service/up to 10 days jail pic.twitter.com/gOt6tno4no— Will Vernon (@BBCWillVernon) March 15, 2022
Ovsyannikova, a Channel One editor, burst onto the set of the nightly news bulletin on Monday (14 March) evening, shouting 'Stop the war. No to war' while holding a large sign that read: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”
It was then signed off in English, reading 'Russians against the war'.
The news anchor continued to read from the teleprompter and spoke louder in an attempt to drown Ovsyannikova's voice out before the station cut to a pre-recorded segment.
The protest could be seen for several seconds prior to the cut.
Ovsyannikova also released a pre-recorded video on social media to express her regret for working at the news station, saying she believes it spreads 'Kremlin propaganda'.
“Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now," she wrote.
"Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people.
"We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning.
“We are just silently watching this anti-human regime. And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war.”
When news broke that Ovsyannikova had been arrested and taken to a Moscow police station, people were expecting the worst due to the newly introduced Russian legislation that has criminalised the spreading of so-called 'fake news' about the Russian military.
Those found guilty face up to 15 years in jail, but Vernon's tweet suggests she may not be punished so severely.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has since praised Ovsyannikova’s efforts, along with those of many other Russians fighting to spread ‘real facts’.
He said in a Telegram video message: “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones."
He went on to directly thank Ovsyannikova, saying: “And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”
Zelenskyy added: “To those who are not afraid to protest. As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight. You must not lose your chance.”
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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