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A Russian woman who burst onto the set of a live TV news broadcast to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is under arrest and is the subject of “a pre-investigation check,” according to state-run Tass media.
The woman, Marina Ovsyannikova, is an editor at Channel One; she protested the war by walking behind a news anchor while holding a sign reading “No War” and telling viewers they were being lied to. It also said, “Russians for peace.”
The website OVD-info, which monitors rights abuses in Russia, shared a video Ovsyannikova recorded a video before taking action. In it, she said she was ashamed for her role in helping spread Kremlin propaganda.
“I’m embarrassed for letting them tell lies from the TV screen. I’m ashamed that I allowed them to zombify Russian people,” Ovsyannikova said, according to a translation by OVD-info.
Ukrainians were never Russia’s enemies, she said, stating that her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian. She urged more people to protest the invasion.
“What’s happening in Ukraine right now is a true crime. And Russia is the aggressor,” she said. “And the responsibility for this crime lies only on the conscience of one person, and that person is Vladimir Putin.”
Ovsyannikova’s protest was quickly hailed as an act of courage, as it immediately led to her arrest.
Russia’s federal Investigative Committee is now handling her case; any charges against her could stem from Russia’s newly adopted laws making it a crime to spread what the Russian government deems “fake news” about its military.
Ovsyannikova’s whereabouts are in question: The website Meduza said she was located at the TV station, but defense lawyers were not allowed to see her. But the OVD-info site says her current location isn’t known.
This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.
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