Marina Ovsyannikova: German newspaper hires protest journalist from Russian television

Marina Ovsyannikova was watched by 250 million viewers worldwide as she escaped armed guards to protest the war in Ukraine on Russia’s first pro-Putin channel.

After being refused asylum in France, she took on a role as a freelance correspondent for Die Welt, writing for its German newspaper and appearing live on the media company’s television news channel.

Die Welt stood for “what is so vehemently stood for by the brave people on the ground in Ukraine right now: for freedom,” Ms Ovsyannikova said.

Ulf Porschardt, editor of Welt Group, said: “I am delighted to work with her.

Demonstration of the producer of Channel One Tv Marina Ovsyannikova

/ Facebook/Marina Ovsyannikova

He added that Ms Ovsyannikova’s on-air protest “defended the most important journalistic ethics – despite the threat of state repression”.

Ovsyannikova was arrested shortly after the protest that interrupted presenter Ekaterina Andreeva on March 1.

As one of Channel One’s most experienced members, Ovsyannikova was able to bypass the guards and run after newsreader Andreeva, shouting, “Stop the war.” No to war. With a sign that said, “Don’t believe the propaganda, they’re lying to you here.” As Andreeva tried to read her script.

Lawyers spent nearly 24 hours searching for Osyvannikova before she finally appeared in Ostankino District Court in Moscow.

She was fined 30,000 rubles (£214) and released from court after pleading not guilty to the charge of staging an unauthorized public event.

“Those were indeed some of the most difficult days of my life,” she told reporters after the short hearing for which she wore a necklace in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. “I spent two days without sleeping. I was interrogated for more than 14 hours. They didn’t allow me to reach my family or give me any legal help. I was in a rather difficult position.

Marina Ovsyannikova’s Russian Television No War Demonstration

/ Handout

Speaking from underground, Ovsyannikova had since told the media of her determination to stay in her country.

“I don’t want to leave Russia. I am a patriot,” she told German news site Der Spiegel.

Ovsyannikova refused an offer of asylum from French President Emmanuel Macron, even as she feared serious repercussions from Russian authorities and called herself Russia’s “enemy No. 1”.