Russian TV employee who showed anti-war sign fined S$374, subjected to 14-hour interrogation

She was also briefly uncontactable following her arrest by Russian authorities.

Matthias Ang | March 16, 2022, 02:58 PM

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The editor of a Russian TV station, Marina Ovsyannikova, has been fined 30,000 roubles (S$374) and released after she interrupted a news broadcast with an anti-war sign, the BBC reported.

Ovsyannikova also said that she had been questioned for 14 hours, was not provided access to legal help, and was unable to sleep for two days.

However, her fine did not pertain to her interruption of the news broadcast, but a message which she recorded before her broadcast protest, in which she said that she was ashamed of how she had worked at the station for a "number of years" and how she had contributed to the "zombification of the Russian people".

She was quoted by The Guardian as saying:

"These were indeed some of the hardest days of my life. I spent two days without sleep. I was questioned for more than 14 hours. They didn’t allow me to reach my family or give me any legal aid. I was in a fairly difficult position."

Ovsyannikova added that she was not surprised at her release as she had two children.

Uncontactable when she was detained after her protest

The BBC further reported that Ovsyannikova was uncontactable for a period of time, following her detention after her protest, with lawyers unable to locate her for several hours.

The Guardian reported that this sparked fears among her friends and supporters that serious charges were being prepared against her.

A photo of her in court with a lawyer subsequently emerged on Russian media on March 15.

According to The Guardian, there is still a risk that a criminal case will be opened against Ovsyannikova, but that risk has sharply decreased "after the fine that she received".

What happened on March 14?

Ovsyannikova had rushed onto the set of a news programme with a sign that read "Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here" in Russian and "Russians against the war" in English.

She also shouted, "Stop the war. No to war."

The anchor can be seen trying to talk over Marina unsuccessfully before the broadcast cut away to a recorded segment.

Ukrainian President Zelensky later thanked Marina for her actions.

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Left image via Twitter, right image via The Telegraph YouTube