LONDON – An anti-war protester interrupted a live news bulletin on Russia’s state TV Channel One on Monday, holding up a sign behind the studio presenter and shouting slogans denouncing the war in Ukraine.
The sign, in English and Russian, read: “NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe propaganda. They are lying to you here.” Another phrase, which looked like “Russians against war”, was partly obscured.
The extraordinary act of dissent took place on day 19 of the war which began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a special military operation.
“Stop the war. No to war,” the woman protester could be heard shouting, as the news anchor continued to read from her teleprompter.
The protester could be seen and heard for several seconds before the channel switched to a different report to remove her from the screen.
“Wow, that girl is cool,” Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, wrote on Twitter.
She posted a video of the incident, which quickly racked up more than 2.6 million views.
The law, passed on March 4, makes public actions aimed at discrediting Russia’s army illegal and bans the spread of fake news or the “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”. The offence carries a jail term of up to 15 years.
In a video recorded before the incident and posted online, a woman who appeared to be Ovsyannikova described herself as a Channel One employee and said she was ashamed to have worked for years spreading Kremlin propaganda. She said her father was Ukrainian, and her mother Russian.
“What is happening now in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country. The responsibility for that aggression lies on the conscience of only one man, and that man is Vladimir Putin,” she said.
“Now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations of our descendants will not wash away the shame of this fratricidal war,” she said.
She urged Russians to go out and demonstrate.
Authorities have broken up anti-war protests. According to OVD-Info, which monitors protests and provides legal assistance to those detained, a total of 14,911 people have been arrested.
This article was first published in Asia One . All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.