Journalist who hacked into Russian TV news to protest war could be jailed for 10 days

Journalist Marina Ovsiannikova, employee of a Russian channel who invaded a news program in favor of the Russian government to denounce the offensive against Ukraine, is being tried this Tuesday (15) for having manifested illegally.

The hearing is ongoing, according to the Ostankino district court in Moscow, consulted by AFP.

If found guilty on the charge of illegal protest, Ovsiannikova could face ten days in prison. Marina was not immediately charged with the crime of publishing “false information” about the Russian military, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

At the trial, Ovsiannikova pleaded not guilty. “I don’t recognize my guilt,” the journalist told the court, according to AFP sources. “I remain convinced that Russia is committing a crime … and that it is the invader of Ukraine,” she added.

Earlier, his lawyer, Daniil Berman, came to consider that his client was at risk of being convicted under this new law.

“There is a high probability that the authorities will decide to set an example, so that other critics will shut up,” said the lawyer, explaining that he has not yet been able to meet with his client.

Ovsiannikova, a native of Odessa, Ukraine, works at Pervy Kanal (Channel One, to the West), very close to Russian power.

On Monday night (14), she invaded the news and stood behind the presenter with a sign that said: “No to war, don’t believe the propaganda. Here they are lying to you”.

In early March, Russian authorities approved a law punishing publication of “slanderous information” about the Russian military sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Ovsiannikova, a mother of two young children, could be included in this law, according to her lawyer. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov called the act “vandalism”.

In a video recorded before going on the news, Ovsiannikova explained that her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian, and that she cannot stand the spread of “lies” that turn Russians into “zombies”.

Since then, his Facebook account has received tens of thousands of messages of support. Today, a spokesperson for the head of diplomacy in European UnionJosep Borrell, praised his gesture.

“She took a courageous moral stand and dared to oppose the Kremlin’s lies and propaganda live and on state-controlled television,” said Peter Stano.

Also on Tuesday, the French government said it was willing to offer “consular protection” to the Russian journalist. President Emmanuel Macron who asked Russia to clarify its situation.

“We are going to initiate measures to offer her protection, at the embassy or in asylum,” Macron told the press, assuring that he would propose this to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in his next telephone conversation with him.

About Abhishek Pratap

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