Russian TV editor will reportedly face a fine for her on-air protest
Marina Ovsyannikova, the TV editor who burst onto the set of a live broadcast to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine, will face a fine for her actions, Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports.
Ovsyannikova has already been hit with a fine of 30,000 rubles (about $300) for a video she made around the same time as her headline-grabbing demonstration. That fine was for her urging Russians in the video to protest the war in Ukraine — a statement that recently became a crime in Russia.
The new proceeding in Moscow's Ostankino District Court centers on what Ovsyannikova did during a news program on March 16, when she walked behind a Channel One anchor while holding a sign reading "No War" and telling viewers they were watching propaganda and lies. It also said, "Russians against war."
Another new Russian law has made it a crime to spread "fake news" or discredit the military — and that's the statute Ovsyannikova is now being charged under, according to human rights attorney Sergei Badamshin's Telegram channel.
Ovsyannikova faces a fine of between 30,000 and 50,000 rubles when her case is heard on April 14, Novaya Gazeta said.
Ovsyannikova has repeatedly refused to retract her statements against the war, including in an earlier court hearing.
In the video she filmed ahead of her protest and arrest, Ovsyannikova expressed her remorse for playing a role in Russia's propaganda machine. She also said the war in Ukraine is a crime for which Russian President Vladimir Putin should be held responsible.
"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.
News of the pending court date came one day after Ovsyannikova spoke to Voice of America, saying that many of her former colleagues at the TV station are now afraid to speak out or leave their jobs, in part because economic sanctions have destabilized Russia's economy.
This story originally appeared in the Morning Edition live blog.
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