A woman wielding a sign saying “no war” and other messages ambushed a live television broadcast on Russia’s Channel One – as producers scrambled to cut her off. Newsreader Ekaterina Andreeva was delivering her evening bulletin before the demonstrator began chanting and telling viewers not the believe “propaganda”. It comes as Russia cracks down on independent media outlets in the country which have reported the Kremlin’s stalled war and large losses in Ukraine.
The woman charged into the Channel One studio at the Ostankino Technical Center in Moscow to speak to millions of viewers.
Her sign showed a mix of Russian and English writing which read “stop the war” and “Don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here”.
Producers quickly changed the broadcast to a clip of a hospital as they dealt with the protester.
It was later revealed the protester was Marina Ovsyannikova, an employee at Channel One, who was angry at the outlet’s reporting.
She recorded a video prior to the stunt and apologized for Channel One’s propaganda.
She said in the video: “Unfortunately, for the last several years I worked at Channel One, promoting Kremlin propaganda and for that I am very ashamed right now…
“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.”
She has reportedly been detained since the protest.
Channel One is Russia’s largest channel with an estimated 250 million viewers worldwide.
The Kremlin has come down hard on dissenting voices and has shut down all independent media outlets in the country.
The Duma voted in new laws several weeks ago which made it illegal to publish “misinformation” about the Ukraine “special operation”.
Those breaching the law could face 15 years in prison for simply calling the invasion a “war”.
Broadcasters TV Rain and Echo of Moscow were forced to go dark after the laws were introduced.
TV Rain ended their broadcast with the final message “no war” before showing Swan Lake.
It is believed it was a reference to the moment in 1991 when state television panicked after a coup was underway and played the ballet instead of the disruption happening in Moscow.
The outlets still broadcasting in Russia have been forced to repeat what they have been told by the Russian ministry of defence.
Russia Today has been banned across Europe for parroting the Kremlin and broadcasting pro-Russian news bulletins of the Ukraine invasion.
Anti-war protesters have also been brutally policed by armored riot officers in major cities with some reports showing demonstrators being arrested for holding blank signs.
Footage shared by Activatica showed a woman being arrested after she said the phrase “two words” in a brief interview with a journalist.
The “two words” is believed to be an anti-war reference in Russian which has been adopted by protesters.
Protests have not been confined to Russia however as two people were arrested after squatters broke into a Russian oligarch’s mansion in London.
Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, is an energy tycoon and is one of the people being sanctioned by the UK.
Squatters said they were reclaiming the building for Ukrainian refugees, located in 5 Belgrave Square in central London.
The protesters have been in the building since midnight with the Metropolitan Police confirming two people had been arrested at around 6pm.