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Russian Journalist Missing After News Protest

Credit: Unsplash

Amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, strict control over information flow into and out of Russia aims to quell any dissent among Russian citizens. Many international news outlets have been cut off, leaving only Russian state media broadcasting without interruptions. Despite this, protesters are determined to voice their opposition to the war.

During Monday night’s news broadcast on Russia’s state-run Channel One, journalist and editor Marina Ovsyannikova disrupted the program by displaying an anti-war sign and encouraging viewers not to trust the news they receive. The sign, in Russian, conveyed messages such as “No war, stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.”

Prior to her on-air protest, Ovsyannikova had been sharing protest videos on her personal social media, later secured by the human rights organization OVD-Info. In one such video, she asserted, “Russia is the aggressor. And the responsibility for this crime lies solely with one person, and that person is Vladimir Putin.”

“My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian. They were never enemies,” she stated, expressing her embarrassment for contributing to Moscow’s propaganda machinery.

Subsequent to her Channel One appearance, Ovsyannikova has vanished. It is suspected that she is in police custody, although her precise location is yet to be confirmed at the time of writing. There is a possibility that she might face imprisonment for her protest, given that earlier in the month, the Kremlin declared that referring to the Ukraine invasion as a “war” constituted spreading false information punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

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