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Russian journalist, Ovsyannikova detained for interrupting live broadcast

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A Russian TV journalist, who interrupted a live broadcast to protest the war in Ukraine, has been detained and has disappeared, with her lawyers not allowed to contact her.

A European Commission spokesman said on Tuesday.

An Editor at Russia’s Channel One, Marina Ovsyannikova, walked onto set and held up a sign to the camera protesting President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine during the news on Monday night.

The poster also said that viewers were being lied to.

Ovsyannikova “took a brave moral stance … to object to the Kremlin’s lies and propaganda live on air on a state-controlled TV channel,” the commission’s spokesman, Peter Stano, said a day after the incident.

Stano added that the channel’s chief executive was one of the regime’s “chief propagandists.”

“The state apparatus continues its oppression against the domestic opposition, against the domestic peace-loving population, denying them their basic rights and freedoms such as freedom of opinion and freedom of expression,” Stano said.

The Kremlin condemned the woman’s actions as hooliganism.

Spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying that the matter was for the broadcaster itself to settle.

Ovsyannikova’s whereabouts since the incident has been unknown, with her lawyers confirming they had not been in touch with her.

Meanwhile, Ovsyannikova called the attack on Ukraine a crime in a video.

Media outlets in Russia were explicitly banned from referring to the Russian invasion of its neighbour as a war.

Instead, the offical terminology describes the ongoing conflict as a “special military operation” to “demilitarise” and “denazify” Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked Ovsyannikova for her protest.

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Sheji Halima

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