As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears week three, the situation inside Russia is getting worse and worse. Laws have been made that put people in jail for speaking out against the government and Vladimir Putin in any way.
Sanctions are hitting the economy hard and the country’s ruble currency is close to collapsing.
Ordinary Russians are split between support of Putin and the war and confusion or opposition that they are doing their best to hide.
Though a rare few are speaking out strongly, in anti-war protests and most recently, live on air, where a brave journalist interrupted a national broadcast with a protest.
‘Stop the War!’
During a national broadcast on Russian news, journalist Marina Ovsyannikova rushed onto the set with a large sign saying, “Stop the War!” and urging people to stop believing what the government and official media is saying.
Ovsyannikova’s dad is Ukrainian. She says she is ashamed of how journalists like her have stayed quiet while Putin gets worse and worse, including his annexation of Crimea in 2014 and past murder of critic Boris Nemtsov in 2015.
Putin also had a number of journalists targeted and killed for opposing his regime, including the brutal 2006 slaughter of journalist and activist Anna Politkovskaya.
Coming out onto the set, Ovsyannikova held up the sign and also shouted to stop the war, interrupting the shocked broadcaster who was delivering the news.
She was immediately whisked off the set by security and has now disappeared.
🚨A Russian journalist who protested against the war on the country’s most popular TV channel has been missing overnight.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 15, 2022
Where is Ovsyannikova?
Ovsyannikova’s lawyer, Daniel Berman, says he does not know where she is and said she might be “anywhere” at this point.
The darker hints of this statement are obvious. Russia punishes dissent very harshly and Ovsyannikova could be getting tortured or worse at this very moment.
Berman also said he’s worried Ovsyannikova is being strongly pressured to confess to some sort of treason charge in return for a lesser sentence and being used as a propaganda tool.
If she doesn’t agree to say she was wrong, she could get a long time in jail, such as 15 years.
Ovsyannikova has two children. She wrote about her decision to do the protest, prior to doing so, saying she couldn’t stay silent any longer while watching the airwaves be flooded with propaganda.
She faces a long time behind bars for spreading “fake news” under Russia’s new laws. Putin’s right-hand man, Dmitry Peskov, says she is a common thug who deserves no respect for what she did.
Marina Ovsyannikova, the woman who ran onto a live state TV news broadcast, even recorded a message beforehand. In it, she says her father is Ukrainian. She calls for anti-war protests, says she’s ashamed about working for Kremlin propaganda, and she denounces the war absolutely. pic.twitter.com/nOpUY9bH74
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 14, 2022
Ovsyannikova is Not Alone
Ovsyannikova is not alone in her feelings.
Recently, Russia’s top rapper, Morgenshtern, put out a music video. In it, he speaks forcefully about his opposition to the war and depicts what it’s like to live in Ukraine as it’s under Russian attack.