Thursday. 01.12.2022
WAR IN UKRAINE

TV protest journalist doesn't want to leave Russia despite fears

"I am a patriot, my son is an even bigger one. We definitely do not want to leave," she said
Marina Ovsyannikova walked onto set during the country's main news programme "Vremya" (Time) and held up a sign to the camera protesting President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, warning that viewers were being "lied to." Image: YouTube screenshot.
Marina Ovsyannikova walked onto set and held up a sign protesting Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine. Image: YouTube screenshot.

 Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova has said she does not want to leave her country, despite fearing for her safety after an on-air war protest on state television.

"We will stay in Russia," Ovsyannikova said of herself and her children in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel published late Wednesday.

She has a 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. "I am a patriot, my son is an even bigger one. We definitely do not want to leave, we don't want to emigrate anywhere," she said.

"My life has changed forever, I'm slowly coming to terms with that. I can never go back to my old life," she said.

Ovsyannikova, an editor on Russian state television, held up a placard to the camera against the war in Ukraine behind the Channel One newsreader during the Monday evening broadcast. The placard also warned viewers they were being "lied to."

Media outlets in Russia are explicitly banned from referring to the Russian invasion of its neighbour as a war.

Hiding with friends

Ovsyannikova told Der Spiegel she is currently hiding out with friends. She says she did not think about the consequences of her protest in the moment, but they are becoming clearer by the day. But she "has already passed the point of no return," she said.

"I can now speak openly and publicly."

She was fined 30,000 roubles (280 dollars) for the protest, but could face further criminal charges. There is an investigation into the alleged spreading of lies about Russian forces, the state news agency TASS reported, citing a source from the investigating authorities.

There are fears she could still be prosecuted under a new media law, which provides for up to 15 years in prison.

TV protest journalist doesn't want to leave Russia despite fears
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