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The Russian state TV journalist who took a dramatic stance against President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine on a live broadcast said it was ‘impossible to remain silent’ and she wants the world knows that many Russians are against the invasion.
Marina Ovsyannikova told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that many Russian journalists see a disconnect between reality and what is presented on the country’s TV channels, and that even her mother has been “brainwashed” by propaganda. of state.
“I increasingly feel a cognitive dissonance between my beliefs and what we say on the air,” Ovsyannikova said. “The war was the point of no return, when it was simply impossible to remain silent.”
On Monday, the network’s editor appeared behind a news anchor holding a sign that read, “NO WAR.” Ovsyannikova told CNN on Wednesday that she was compelled to act due to memories of airstrikes during the Russian conflict in Chechnya, where she lived in her youth.
“I’m worried about the Russian soldiers…I think they really don’t understand why they have to do this, why they [are] fighting,” she told Amanpour.
On Tuesday, Ovsyannikova was found guilty by a Moscow district court of organizing an “unauthorized public event”. The “administrative offence” is punishable by a fine of 30,000 rubles (about $280). A lawyer who previously represented Ovsyannikova told CNN the administrative charge was based solely on a video statement she recorded before appearing with an anti-war poster on Channel One.
The Kremlin called his actions “hooliganism”, a criminal offense in Russia.
Ovsyannikova told CNN that she originally planned to step away from the cameras during her protest, but then realized she would have to be close to the news anchor to make sure her poster was up. seen by viewers.
She was “scared until the last minute,” she added.
“I decided I would be able to defeat the guard standing in front of the studio and stand behind the host. So I moved very quickly and went through security and showed my poster” , said Ovsyannikova.
In the video statement recorded before her public demonstration, Ovsyannikova blamed Putin for the war.
“What is happening in Ukraine now is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country, and the responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of one person. That man is Vladimir Putin,” Ovsyannikova said.
“Unfortunately, for the past few years I’ve worked on Channel One and done propaganda in the Kremlin, and now I’m really ashamed of it,” she said in the video. “It’s a shame that I allowed lies to be told on TV screens, shame that I allowed the Russian people to be zombified.”
“I’m ashamed that we kept quiet in 2014, when all this was just beginning,” she says, referring to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.