Marina Ovsyannikova: Russian journalist who held ‘no war’ sign on live broadcast says she was questioned for 14 hours


The Russian journalist who interrupted a state TV news bulletin to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine has revealed details of her 14-hour gruelling interrogation by the authorities.

Marina Ovsyannikova had run into the news studio of Kremlin-run Channel One and held up an anti-war sign behind newsreader Yekaterina Andreyeva while she was on air.

Ms Ovsyannikova, the editor of the channel, said she was questioned for 14 hours and alleged she was not given any legal help. She was also fined 30,000 roubles (£200) for interrupting the bulletin.

“The interrogation lasted for more than 14 hours, I wasn’t allowed to get in touch with my family or friends, I was denied access to a lawyer,” Ms Ovsyannikova said after her court hearing.

“It was my anti-war decision. I made this decision by myself because I don’t like Russia starting this invasion. It was really terrible,” she added.

The Russian journalist had pleaded not guilty to the charges of organising an unauthorised public event.

Images of Ms Ovsyannikova’s holding up the anti-war sign were quickly shared worldwide.

The sign read: “No war, stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.”

She was also heard repeating the words “no war, stop the war.”

Ms Ovsyannikova’s whereabouts were also not known for a while until lawyer Anton Gashinsky shared a photo of him with her in the court.

Before she interrupted the news bulletin on state TV, she had recorded a video in which she said: “I am ashamed that I allowed myself to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed Russians to be turned into zombies. We just silently watched this inhumane regime.”

Ms Ovsyannikova was born in Odesa in 1978 and has two children, according to local news media.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky also praised the Russian journalist for “telling the truth.”

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov termed her actions as an act of “hooliganism”.

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