The incident, a highly unusual security breach on Channel One, occurred during its flagship news program called ‘Time’.
A dissident employee of Russian state broadcaster Channel One, who interrupted an evening newscast with an anti-war poster on Monday, has disappeared, human rights group OVD-Info said. The employee, identified as Marina Ovsyannikova, was taken to the police station after the offense.
A tweet translated from the official OVD-Info handle read: “A pre-investigation check has been launched against Channel One employee Maria Ovsyannikova, who took out an anti-war poster during the live broadcast of the Vremya program, reports TASS citing its source, where it is still unknown.
The organization monitors detentions during opposition protests. The incident, a highly unusual security breach, occurred during its flagship 9 p.m. program called Time. The show is watched by millions across the country, especially older Russians.
News host Yekaterina Andreyeva launched an article on relations with Belarus, Ovsyannikova, dressed in a dark formal suit, appeared in view, holding up a handwritten poster saying “No war” in English. Then the poster said in Russian: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They lie to you here. It is signed in English: “The Russians against the war”.
The protester managed to say a few sentences in Russian, including “Stop the war!”, while Andreyeva, who has been reporting the news since 1998, tried to stifle him by speaking Stronger.
The channel then hastily cut to footage of a hospital and Ovsyannikova being taken to the police station. Pavel Chikov, a human rights lawyer who supports her, said in a tweet that she had been in detention for more than 12 hours.
Citing Ovsyannikova’s lawyers, Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba said she is not in any police station. Her lawyers said she was first detained in the utility room of the TV channel’s headquarters in Moscow. They now believe she is being held in a secret location. Ovsyannikova works at Channel One as an editor.