Journalist Who Protested On Russian TV Tells CNN It Was 'Impossible To Stay Silent'

Marina Ovsyannikova said the war in Ukraine "was the point of no return," and she felt she had to act.

A Russian state television news editor who interrupted a live news broadcast to protest the war in Ukraine gave an interview to CNN after she was released from custody Tuesday.

Marina Ovsyannikova told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that her life had changed irrevocably, but she hoped she would not face criminal charges.

The Kremlin has clamped down on news and free speech since its invasion of Ukraine, imposing a law that could punish anyone spreading what it deems “false” information about the Ukraine invasion with up to 15 years in prison.

“I decided to do it spontaneously, but the decision was brewing for quite a long time,” Ovsyannikova said, according to a live translation.

“Lately I have been feeling a cognitive dissonance, more and more, between my beliefs and what we say on air. It was a growing sense of dissatisfaction that kept increasing every year, and the war was the point of no return.”

On Monday evening, Ovsyannikova walked behind the presenter of Channel One with a poster that said “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.” The mother of two was arrested and fined $270. She said she was interrogated for 14 hours.

She said she has not been in touch with her colleagues since the incident because the authorities had taken her phone, but she had heard online that multiple state news channel employees had resigned.

“I think this is becoming a public demonstration because many are feeling a disconnect between the reality and what we say on air,” she said.

Ovsyannikova said she had been “afraid until the last minute” before she dashed onto the set.

Watch the interview on CNN.

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