A former Russian state TV journalist who resigned after he did broadcast protest of Russia’s war in Ukraine was fined 50,000 rubles ($860) on Thursday for discrediting the military.

Marina Ovsyannikova was charged under the law, which was put into effect after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, and provides for punishment for speaking out against the military. Conviction is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

Former employee of Russian state television Marina Ovsyannikova at a court hearing in Moscow
Former Russian state television employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest live on state television and was later charged with public activities aimed at discrediting the Russian military amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict, at a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. .


The fine was imposed for comments made in court, where oppositionist Ilya Yashin was detained pending trial for spreading false information about the military. Latvian online publication Meduza, which covers Russia, reported that Ovsyannikova called the invasion of Ukraine a “horrible crime.”

Earlier, she was fined 30,000 rubles (at that time – $270) for holding an anti-war poster in the evening news on the First State Channel on March 14.

In Russian, the poster read “stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, you are being lied to here.” In English, it read “no war” at the top, and “Russians against the war” at the bottom.

She was immediately detained and said that she was interrogated for 14 hours without the presence of representatives.

After her release, she told Reuters about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the neighboring country in February became a “trigger” for her.because she grew up in Chechnya.

“Very vivid images of my childhood flooded in. I understood. I felt what these unfortunate people were going through. It’s really incredible,” Ovsyannikova said. “It was impossible for me to remain silent any longer… And simple people like me, ordinary Russian women, need to do something about it. To everyone in Russia.”

A month after the incident, Ovsyannikova was hired as a freelance reporter for a German news station.

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova interrupted the live broadcast of the First Channel as a sign of protest against the war in Ukraine.


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