Ukraine: Woman who interrupted Russian state TV in war protest 'missing'

Human rights group OVD-Info said Marina Ovsyannikova could not be found but she has since appeared in court.

Ukraine: Woman interrupts Russian state TV in anti-war protest OVD-Info

A woman who interrupted a live news bulletin on Russian state TV to protest against the invasion of Ukraine was reported missing, according to a human rights group.

On Monday evening, an anchor on state-controlled Channel One was speaking during a newscast when a woman appeared on camera behind her holding a sign with “No war” scrawled in English across the top and a message in Russian below it, calling on people not to believe Kremlin propaganda.

An independent human rights group that monitors political arrests identified the woman as Marina Ovsyannikova – with some reports saying she is an editor for the Russian channel.

The group, OVD-Info, posted on its website that Ms Ovsyannikova was taken into police custody and could not be found.

Lawyer Sergei Badamshin shared an image of Ms Ovsyannikova in his Telegram channel.

However, it has since said a lawyer working on Ms Ovsyannikova’s behalf, Sergei Badamshin, confirmed she was in court and would be defended by the solicitor’s colleague.

Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said the stunt, along with other demonstrations in Russia, demonstrated a “huge degree of bravery”.

In Russia, it has become illegal to contradict President Vladimir Putin’s narrative of the war with the truth about the conflict.

People in Russia have limited access to information from outside their country.

A Scottish man living in Russia has told STV News he is seen as the “enemy” in the country he has made his home.

In a video on OVD-Info’s website, Ms Ovsyannikova spoke out against the war.

“What is going on now is a crime,” she said, “Russia is an aggressor country and Vladimir Putin is solely responsible for that aggression.”

Speaking in a video address early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Ms Ovsyannikova’s actions.

The invasion of Ukraine is being described in Russia as a “special military operation” aimed at liberating people from “neo-Nazis”.

The Kremlin has blocked social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

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