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HomeWorld NewsRussian journalist protest: Fears for 'missing' Marina Ovsyannikova after an on-air demonstration...

Russian journalist protest: Fears for ‘missing’ Marina Ovsyannikova after an on-air demonstration against Ukraine war

The Russian journalist who burst onto a live TV news program to protest against the war in Ukraine has appeared in a Moscow court. Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at state-controlled Channel 1, was detained after she ran on to the set on Monday holding an anti-war sign. Many feared the worst as the journalist went missing almost immediately after her outburst. As she was later reported missing by lawyers who said they had been searching for her all night. Until human rights lawyer, Pavel Chikov took to Twitter and confirmed Ms. Ovsyannikova had been imprisoned for the time that she was missing.

Russia is a country that many know for its strict rule. Many fear Russia due to its rigid laws and overall general harshness. Many foresee Russia to be similar to China as it continues to rake up sanctions, demolishing whatever power it had over the current Ukrainian conflict. Many currently see Russia as a totalitarian state. With all independent media being either blocked or shuttered, it has become illegal to contradict the government’s narrative of the war. Which brings the people of Russia to extremely dangerous waters.

It is an established basic human right to maintain one’s freedom of expression and opinion. The UN’s human rights office has called on Russian authorities to ensure that she “does not face any reprisals for exercising her right to freedom of expression”. Images of Ms. Ovsyannikova’s protest were quickly shared across the world after she ran on to the set of one of Russia’s most-watched news programs, Vremya, holding a sign reading “No war, stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.” Prior to her protest Ms. Ovsyannikova recorded a video in which she called events in Ukraine a “crime” and said she was ashamed to work for what she called Kremlin propaganda.

Following her detainment, Ms. Ovsyannikova was taken to court earlier today where she got charged with organizing an unauthorized public event. This charge came as a relief to many as they feared Russia would charge the honorable journalist under a more serious, new criminal law that bans calling Russia’s military action in Ukraine an “invasion” or spreading “fake news” about the conflict that could lead up to fifteen years in jail. The charge she received could be punishable by fines, community service, or up to 10 days in jail. 

Upon her lawyers’ arrival,  an image of the journalist soon circulated widely on Russian media again, showing Ms. Ovsyannikova in court with a slight smile and bright eyes. 



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