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'They're lying to you': Woman's incredible act on live Russian TV

A woman has bravely burst onto a live Russian news broadcast to protest the country's invasion of Ukraine and urge viewers not to believe the propaganda.

The woman is believed to be a senior employee of Russia’s state Channel One television, which was broadcasting the segment.

While the newsreader was delivering the bulletin, the woman, identified in media reports as the station's editor Marina Ovsyannikova, burst onto the set holding a sign with the words "NO WAR" written in English.

Below in Russian, it read: "Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here".

The defiant editor for the TV channel has reportedly been arrested. Source: YouTube
The defiant editor for the TV channel has reportedly been arrested. Source: YouTube

At the bottom of the sign, in English, it was signed "Russians against the war".

The newsreader continued to read the teleprompter, speaking louder as she was drowned out by Ms Ovsyannikova yelling "Stop the war".

The protest was broadcast for several seconds before the network cut away.

Reacting to the moment on Twitter, the BBC's Russia editor Steve Rosenberg described the act as "absolutely astonishing".

In Russia, protesting the government's actions in Ukraine comes at the risk of imprisonment.

At least 750 people have been arrested across Russia for protesting in the streets against the invasion, according to independent monitoring and human rights group OVD-Info.

Unconfirmed reports claim Ms Ovsyannikova has been arrested. Russia's TASS news agency said she may face charges under a law against discrediting the country's armed forces.

The law, passed on March 4, makes public actions aimed at discrediting Russia's army illegal and bans the spread of fake news or the "public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation". The offence carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

State TV is the main source of news for many millions of Russians, and closely follows the Kremlin line that Russia was forced to act in Ukraine to demilitarise and "denazify" the country, and to defend Russian-speakers there against "genocide".

The defecting Channel One editor also posted a pre-recorded video on social media, revealing her father is Ukrainian and saying she is ashamed about working for Kremlin propaganda.

"Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now," she said, according to a translation by The Guardian.

Ms Ovsyannikova says she is ashamed for of her work at the state media channel.
Ms Ovsyannikova says she is ashamed for of her work at the state media channel. Source: Twitter

"Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning. We did not go out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned [opposition leader Alexander] Navalny," she said.

"We are just silently watching this anti-human regime. And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war."

The extraordinary act of dissent took place on day 19 of the war which began when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a special military operation.

with Reuters

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