The extraordinary protest took place on day 19 of the war, which began when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it calls a special military operation.
The smart thing would not be to imprison her but to give her an RT slot.
"Wow, that girl is cool," Kira Yarmysh, spokesperson for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, wrote on Twitter. She posted a video of the incident, which quickly racked up nearly 180,000 views.
State TV is the main source of news for millions of Russians, and closely follows the Kremlin line that Russia was forced to act in Ukraine to demilitarize and "de-Nazify" the country, and to defend Russian-speakers there against "genocide." Ukraine and most of the world have condemned that as a false pretext for an invasion of a democratic country.
The woman was identified by OVD-Info, an independent protest-monitoring group, and by the head of the Agora human rights group, as Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee of the channel.
Pavel Chikov, head of Agora, said she had been arrested and taken to a Moscow police station. Russian state news agency Tass, citing a law enforcement source, said she may face charges under a law against discrediting the armed forces.
The woman, Marina Ovsyannikova, worked for Channel 1, the state-run television channel whose news broadcast she stormed, according to a Russian rights group that is giving her legal support. The group also released a video in which Ms. Ovsyannikova says she is “deeply ashamed” to have worked to produce “Kremlin propaganda.”
The news show, “Vremya,” is among the Kremlin’s flagship propaganda outlets, watched by millions of Russians every evening. The off-script intervention underscored how dissent is seeping into public consciousness in Russia, even after President Vladimir V. Putin has stifled opposition to the war and has enacted a law to punish anyone spreading whatever the government deems “false news” about its Ukraine invasion with up to 15 years in prison.
“We are Russian people, thinking and smart ones,” she said in the video she recorded, calling for Russians to protest against the war. “Only we have the power to stop all this craziness.”
The big picture: The Kremlin has cracked down on independent media and social networks since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
- Russian lawmakers passed legislation on March 4 that would punish journalists and individuals with up to 15 years in prison for publishing what Moscow deems to be "fake" information about the war.
- Bloomberg and BBC have suspended operations in Russia, and CNN, CBS and ABC have stopped broadcasting in the country.
- Russia has also blocked Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the country.
"All responsibility for this aggression lies on the conscience of one person: Vladimir Putin. My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian. They were never enemies." /2
"This necklace around my neck signifies that Russia should immediately stop this fratricidal war and our brotherly nations can make peace with each other." /3
"Unfortunately, for the last several years I worked at Channel One, promoting Kremlin propaganda and for that I am very ashamed right now." /4
"I am ashamed that I allowed lies to be told from TV screens, that I allowed Russian people to be zombified. We stayed quiet when all of this was just getting started in 2014." /5
"We didn't come out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny. We continued to quietly watch this inhumane regime." /6
"Now the whole world turned away from us. Ten generations of our descendants won't be able to wash away the shame of this fratricidal war." /7
• • •