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Woman arrested for interrupting Russia state TV with Ukraine protest sign speaks out

Marina Ovsyannikova protests Ukraine invasion on state TV's Channel 1
Posted at 8:15 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 15:01:42-04

The employee of Russian state television who was arrested after interrupting a live news program by protesting the war in Ukraine said she was not allowed to sleep in police custody and was interrogated for 14 hours.

“These were very difficult days of my life because I literally went two full days without sleep, the interrogation lasted for more than 14 hours and they didn’t allow me to contact my family and close friends, didn’t provide any legal support,” Marina Ovsyannikova said after she was released.

Ovsyannikova, an employee of Channel 1, walked into the studio during Monday’s evening news show with a poster saying “stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.” In English, it said “no war” at the top of the poster and “Russians against the war” at the bottom.

In a video recorded before her action, she urged Russians to join anti-war protests and said that “Russia is the aggressor country and one person, Vladimir Putin, solely bears responsibility for that aggression.”

She was fined 30,000 rubles (about $270) on charges of organizing unsanctioned actions for her call to take part in demonstrations against the war.

The state news agency Tass said Ovsyannikova was fined for the video, not for her appearance during the news show.

She remains under investigation for that on-air protest, Tass said, citing a law enforcement source. Tass said Ovsyannikova is being investigated under a new law against the dissemination of “deliberately false information” about the use of Russian armed forces, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years.