“I want to live in Russia. My children want to live in Russia. We had a very comfortable life in Russia. And I don’t want to immigrate and waste another 10 years of my life to assimilate in another country.
Last week, Ovsyannikova interrupted a newscast by holding up an anti-war sign behind the woman reading the news. She was later fined 30,000 rubles for “hooliganism” and faces up to 15 years in prison under a recently enacted law banning anyone from speaking out against the Russian government’s war narrative.
She said she took the risk because “this is Putin’s war, not the Russian people’s war” and “the propaganda on our state channels was getting more and more distorted.”
“From the start of the war, I could no longer eat. I could not sleep. I came to work and, after a week of covering this situation, the atmosphere on the first channel was so unpleasant that I realized that I could not go back“, she continued.
“I was able to see what was actually happening in Ukraine. And what we showed in our programs was very different from what was happening in reality.
Ovsyannikova’s first instinct was to join the protests in the streets, but she realized that would not be as effective. His condemnation of the war on television attracted massive media and social media attention around the world.
She said she hoped her act of defiance would show the world that many Russians are against the war and inspire more Russians to speak out.
To Western governments struggling against Vladimir Putin’s efforts, Ovsyannikova said the imposed sanctions are “probably the correct decision”, but they also affect “ordinary Russian citizens”.