Fears for ‘missing’ Russian anti-war TV protester.

Moscow, March 15 : The editor of Russian state media Channel One Marina Ovsyannikova has gone missing since she was arrested after she burst on to the sets of the live broadcast holding an anti-war placard, her lawyer said on Tuesday. Ovsyannikova, who was an editor of Russia, state media Channel One, had burst on to the sets of the live broadcast of the night news on Monday shouting “Stop the war. No to war” and holding placard: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here. Russians against the war.” She was later arrested. However, her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov has been trying to locate her but does not know where she is, CNN reported. Dismissing the protest as “hooliganism”, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said, As far as this lady is concerned, this is hooliganism. The channel and those who are in charge are dealing with it. It’s not an issue on (the Kremlin) agenda.” According to Sky News, the UN’s human rights office has called on Russian authorities to ensure that she “does not face any reprisals for exercising her right to freedom of expression”. She is likely to face a jail term of upto 15 years as per the law, passed on March 4, banning actions aimed at discrediting Russia’s army or the “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has lauded the editor for her act. According to Sky News, Ovsyannikova, who said her father is Ukrainian and her mother Russian, had also released a video of herself before her demonstration saying that “unfortunately” she had been working for Channel One in recent years, working for the “Kremlin’s propaganda and I’m very ashamed of it – that I was letting them tell those lies from the TV screen… and allowed the Russian people to be zombified”. Following the incident, the EU imposed sanctions on Konstantin Ernst, the chief executive of the state-controlled TV channel, for being “responsible for organising and disseminating anti-Ukrainian propaganda of the Russian authorities”. Besides Ernst, presenter, Artyom Sheynin has also been added in the list of EU sanctions. According to The Guardian, Sheynin, who worked alongside Ovsyannikova, is said to be a “a Russian propagandist and presenter of talkshow Vremya Pokazhet (“Time will tell”) on the state-controlled TV Channel One”. The EU said, “He made statements in support of the illegal annexation of Crimea and recognition of the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. In his live broadcasts, Sheynin promotes ethnic hatred between Ukrainians and Russians, denies the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and slanders Putin’s opponents in Russia. “Talking about 24 February 2022, the day of the Russian full-scale unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, Sheynin stated that the Russian operation in Ukraine was inevitable and its purpose was to force the Ukrainian authorities to maintain peace.” RNJ

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