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State TV protester tells Russians: Open your eyes to Ukraine war propaganda

LONDON — A Russian woman who burst into a TV studio to denounce the Ukraine war during a live news bulletin told Reuters on Wednesday (March 16) she was worried for her safety and hoped her protest would open Russians' eyes to propaganda.

Ms Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee who staged an on-air protest as she held up an anti-war sign behind a studio presenter, speaks to the media as the leaves the court building in Moscow, Russia on March 15, 2022.

Ms Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee who staged an on-air protest as she held up an anti-war sign behind a studio presenter, speaks to the media as the leaves the court building in Moscow, Russia on March 15, 2022.

LONDON — A Russian woman who burst into a TV studio to denounce the Ukraine war during a live news bulletin told Reuters on Wednesday (March 16) she was worried for her safety and hoped her protest would open Russians' eyes to propaganda.

In her first television interview since her extraordinary on-air protest on Channel One on Monday evening, Ms Marina Ovsyannikova said that she had no plans to flee Russia and that she hoped she would not face criminal charges.

"I believe in what I did but I now understand the scale of the problems that I'll have to deal with, and, of course, I'm extremely concerned for my safety," Ms Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One, told Reuters.

"I absolutely don't feel like a hero... You know, I really want to feel that this sacrifice was not in vain, and that people will open their eyes."

She was fined 30,000 roubles (S$380) on Tuesday hours after the Kremlin denounced her act of protest as "hooliganism".

Reuters has submitted a written request to the interior ministry asking for further comment on her case and whether legal proceedings are now closed.

Ms Ovsyannikova told Reuters she wanted not only to protest against the war but also to send a message to Russians directly: "Don't be such zombies; don't listen to this propaganda; learn how to analyse information; learn how to find other sources of information — not just Russian state television." REUTERS

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