April 1, 2023

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Marina Ovsyannikova: Russian state TV journalist says it is "impossible to remain silent"

Marina Ovsyannikova: Russian state TV journalist says it is “impossible to remain silent”

Marina Ovsianikova told CNN reporter Christian Amanpour on Wednesday that many Russian journalists see a disconnect between reality and what is being shown on the country’s TV channels, and even her mother has been “brainwashed” by government propaganda.

“I felt a cognitive dissonance, more and more, between my beliefs and what we were saying on air,” Ovsyannikova said. “The war was the point of no return, where it was simply impossible to remain silent.”

On Monday, the Channel One editor appeared behind the news anchor holding a banner that read “No to war.” Ovsianikova told CNN on Wednesday that she had to act through memories of air strikes during the Russian conflict in Chechnya, where she lived as a young girl.

“I am worried about the Russian soldiers… I think they don’t really understand why they have to do this, why they do [are] She told Amanpour.

On Tuesday, Ovsyannikova sinner By a Moscow District Court for organizing an “unauthorized public event.” An “administrative offense” is punishable by a fine of 30,000 rubles ($280). A lawyer who previously represented Ovsianikova told CNN that the administrative charge was based solely on a video statement she recorded prior to appearing with an anti-war poster on Channel One.

The Kremlin called her actions “riot” a criminal offense in Russia.

Ovsyannikova told CNN that she initially planned to stay away from the cameras during her protest, but then realized she would need to be close to the news anchor to make sure her poster was seen by viewers. She added that she was “scared until the last minute”.

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“I decided that I would be able to beat the guard standing in front of the studio, and get behind the host. So I moved very quickly and passed by the security and showed my poster,” Ovsyannikova said.

In the video statement recorded before her public protest, Ovsianikova blamed Putin for the war.

“What is happening now in Ukraine is a crime, Russia is the aggressor country, and the responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of only one person. This man is Vladimir Putin,” Ovsyanikova said.

“Unfortunately, for the past few years, I have been working on Channel One and doing propaganda for the Kremlin, and now I am very ashamed of it,” she said in the video. “It is a shame that I allowed lies to be spoken from television screens, ashamed of allowing the Russian people to be harmed.”

“I am ashamed that we were silent in 2014, when all this was just beginning,” she says, referring to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

censorship of the press

Putin earlier this month signed a file censorship bill It criminalizes what Russia considers “false” information about the invasion of Ukraine, with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison for anyone convicted, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Russia has cracked down on domestic media due to the war in Ukraine and many have scaled back their coverage as a result. Global networks such as CNN, ABC News, CBS News, etc. Broadcasting stopped from Russia. and Russian independent news outlet TV Rain also known as Dozhd, close entirely. Its editor and crew, along with other freelance journalists, have left the country.

On Wednesday, Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media communications watchdog, had imposed restrictions on access to the BBC News website at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

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Earlier in March, Roskomnadzor restricted access to the BBC’s Russian service website.