Russian journalist who staged anti-war protest on live TV feared missing
President Zelenskyy has praised her for her bravery.
A Russian journalist who carried out an on-air protest against the war in Ukraine on state TV has been arrested and is feared missing, with her whereabouts not having been known as of Tuesday morning (15 March).
Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor on the Russian TV channel Pervyi Kanal (Channel One) ran onto camera during her channel's news broadcast with a sign reading: "NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here."
Russian state TV tonight.
The unflinchingly brave protestors in Russia challenging Putin’s barbaric war deserve our complete admiration and respect.pic.twitter.com/1m7ORdjJUt
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) March 14, 2022
She later received praise from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who spoke directly with her following the protest.
Zelenskyy later said in a video: "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.
"And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war," he continued.
"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."
Following the incident, however, Ovsyannikova's lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, claimed that he had been unable to locate her.
Despite apparently being told that she is in Moscow's Ostankino Police station, Zakhvatov told CNN that he is unable to find his client.
In a message recorded before her protest, Ovsyannikova said the war in Ukraine is a "crime and Russia is the aggressor," but that this aggression "lies with one man: Putin."
She also explained that her father is Ukrainian and that she is "ashamed" of the "Kremlin propaganda" she has been helping broadcast since she started working for Channel One.
Marina Ovsyannikova, the woman who ran onto a live state TV news broadcast, even recorded a message beforehand. In it, she says her father is Ukrainian. She calls for anti-war protests, says she’s ashamed about working for Kremlin propaganda, and she denounces the war absolutely. pic.twitter.com/nOpUY9bH74
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 14, 2022
She continued: "We didn't say anything in 2014 when it only just began. We didn't protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny.
"We just silently watched this inhuman regime.
"Now the whole world has turned away from us, and ten generations of our descendants won't wash off this fratricidal war."
Channel One was the first station to broadcast in the Russian Federation after the fall of the Soviet Union and has more than 250 million viewers across the world.