An employee of a Russian television station who invaded a government news program to denounce the offensive in Ukraine was released this Tuesday (15), after being ordered to pay a fine equivalent to US$ 275 (about R$ 1,400).
Marina Ovsiannikova will, however, be able to face criminal charges that could result in severe prison sentences, according to a law clamping down on any “false information” about Russian military forces.
The 43-year-old journalist broke into Pervy Kanal (known in the West as Channel One) on Monday night during the live broadcast of the channel’s news, in which she works as a producer. Ovsiannikova held a sign that read: “No to war, don’t believe the propaganda. Here you are lying.”
Images of his gesture went around the world and, on social media, many people praised his “extraordinary courage”, in a context of harsh repression of any critical voice in Russia.
French President Emmanuel Macron has even proposed “consular protection”, both at the embassy and granting him asylum.
On Tuesday, a Moscow court found her guilty of committing an “administrative offense” and sentenced her to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles, an AFP journalist present at the hearing said.
After the hearing, during which she pleaded not guilty, Ovsiannikova said she wanted to “rest” after these “so difficult” moments. “These are very difficult days in my life, I spent two days without sleep, the interrogation lasted 14 hours,” she said in a short statement to the press.
“I didn’t have the right to speak to people close to me, I didn’t have access to legal assistance and that’s why I was in such a difficult position,” he added. “Today I have to rest.”
However, the hardest part for her is yet to come.
THE hearing this tuesday it was not directly related to the invasion of Ovsiannikova during the television news, but to the parallel broadcast of a video on the internet in which he denounced the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine.
In the video, this woman explained that her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian, and that she couldn’t stand the spread of “lies” that turn Russians into “zombies”.
Her lawyer told AFP he feared she would be tried for publishing “slanderous information” about the Russian army, a crime that can be punished with up to 15 years in prison.
The use of the word “war” by the Russian press or private individuals to describe Russian intervention in Ukraine is punishable by judgment and severe sanctions. Russian officials refer to their offensive in Ukraine as a “special military operation”.
For the Kremlin, Ovsiannikova’s action was “vandalism”, in the words of her spokesman, Dmitri Peskov. But abroad, demonstrations of support for the woman, mother of two small children, multiplied.
In Brussels, a spokesperson for EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell applauded her gesture, saying she had “taken a bold and bold moral stand in opposing the Kremlin’s lies and propaganda live on a television station.” state-controlled television”.