TV editor who staged an on-air protest fined $293
A Moscow court fined the Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova 30,000 rubles (about $293) on Tuesday after she broke into the news studio during an evening news show the day before. She also published a pre-recorded message on social media, in which she called to stage anti-war protests.
On Monday, Ovsyannikova ran behind the news anchor holding a poster with anti-war slogans and calls not to trust “propaganda.”
“Ovsyannikova was found guilty of committing an administrative offense under Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (organizing or holding a public event without filing a notice of a public event in the appropriate way),” said Kristina Yavkina, Ostankino court’s spokeswoman, as quoted by the Russian media.
It was not immediately clear whether the sentence concerned her video message or her unexpected TV appearance.
Earlier on Tuesday the Russian media, referring to law enforcement sources, claimed that a criminal pre-investigation has been launched to establish if Ovsyannikova’s actions constitute “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the Russian armed forces.”
The new law, recently adopted in Russia, made the deliberate spread of “false information” about the Russian military punishable by up to 15 years in jail and a heavy fine.
Prior to her unexpected appearance on-air, Ovsyannikova, who was born in Ukraine, recorded a video message in which she confessed to being “very ashamed” of having worked at the state-owned channel. “What is happening in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor,” she said, calling on Moscow to “immediately stop the fratricidal war.” The slogans on her poster were in English and Russian.
Ovsyannikova’s employer, Channel One, announced on Monday evening that an internal investigation had been launched.