Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova burst onto the set of the daily news bulletin last night (Monday 14 March), shouting: “Stop the war. No to war.”
Standing behind the newsreader, she also held up a large sign that read: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”
In English, the sign added: “No War... Russians against the war.”
While the newsreader continued to read from the teleprompter – even speaking louder in an attempt to drown out Ovsyannikova's voice – the protest continued for several seconds before the station cut to pre-recorded footage.
Zelenskyy has since praised Ovsyannikova’s efforts, along with those of many other Russians fighting to spread ‘real facts’.
According to CNN, 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.”
Ovsyannikova has since been arrested, according to OVD-Info human rights group. Pavel Chikov, head of of the Agora human rights group, also said she had been taken to a Moscow police station.
The Guardian reports that she could face prison time under a 'newly introduced Russian legislation that criminalised spreading so-called “fake news” about the Russian military', with those found guilty looking at up to 15 years in jail.
The outlet reports that she could also face 'legal consequences for encouraging “civil unrest” by telling Russians to protest'.
Ovsyannikova had shared a video online shortly before her stunt at the Channel One studios, speaking to the camera as she condemned the war and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
She also apologised for her work on the Kremlin-controlled news channel, which has broadly covered up news of the invasion.
Ovsyannikova said: “I've been doing Kremlin propaganda and I'm very ashamed of it – that I let people lie from TV screens and allowed the Russian people to be zombified.
“Now the whole world has turned away from us, and ten generations of our descendants won't wash off this fratricidal war," she said, as she called for people to take to the streets to protest the war, concluding the video by saying 'they can't arrest all of us.”
In a statement published by state news agency TASS, Channel One confirmed that 'an incident took place with an extraneous woman in shot', adding: "An internal check is being carried out."
Featured Image Credit: Channel One/Alamy
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