Russian State TV Producer on Air: 'They Are Lying to You'

Marina Ovsyannikova urged Russians to 'take to the streets' to protest war before her arrest
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2022 8:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – An employee of Russia's state TV Channel One interrupted a live broadcast of its flagship evening news program Monday to denounce government "propaganda" and shout anti-war slogans. The protester entered the frame as anchor Ekaterina Andreeva reported on Russian efforts to combat sanctions. OVD-Info, a human rights group that tracks protest activity in Russia, identified the woman as editor and producer Marina Ovsyannikova, per the Washington Post. She held up a sign reading, "Stop the war. Don't believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here." Her protest was visible for several seconds before the channel switched to recorded video.

Ovsyannikova also recorded a video, saying she'd been "working on Kremlin propaganda" for years. "I am ashamed that I've allowed the lies to be said on the TV screens. I am ashamed that I let the Russian people be zombified," said Ovsyannikova, who mentioned having a Ukrainian father and Russian mother. "What is happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor," she continued, per the Guardian, pointing the blame at Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war." She has since been arrested, as she likely predicted. "It is only in our power to stop this madness," she told Russians in the video, per the Post. "Take to the streets. Do not be afraid. They can't jail us all."

The Kremlin has threatened 15 years in prison for those who contradict Russia's official narrative of a limited operation to "denazify" Ukraine. Censorship in Russia is so strict that other news programs blurred Ovsyannikova's message in reporting on the incident, per the Guardian. A recording of the broadcast has also been removed from Channel One's website. But it was not missed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who thanked "the woman who entered the Channel One studio" on Monday. "I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth," he said in a video update, per the Post. Tens of thousands of others posted messages of support on Ovsyannikova's Facebook page. (Read more Russia stories.)

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