Russian state television editor who staged protest accused of being a “British spy”.

March 22, 2022 at 9:28 am

A Russian state television editor who staged an on-screen protest has been accused of being a British spy who “spoke to the British embassy” before protesting on television by a former colleague.

Marina Ovsyannikova burst into a live Russia-1 broadcast earlier this month to spread an anti-war message, brandishing a placard that read “Stop the war” and “They are lying to you.” She resigned and was later fined by a court in Russia.

Her former colleague Kirill Kleymenov, deputy general manager of Channel One and presenter, accused her of being a “traitor” on the air.

“Before [going on air with her anti-war poster]”According to our information, Marina Ovsyannikova spoke to the British Embassy,” said Mr. Kleymenov.

“Who of you has phoned a foreign embassy?”

He said she not only betrayed her country, but “all of us, people with whom she has worked side by side for almost 20 years”.

“She betrays coldly, level-headed, for a firmly agreed [financial] Bonus – by the way, so as not to lose their previous one.

“The woman with the poster timed the action to get her next paycheck – so betrayal is always a personal choice.”

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Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova and her lawyer before a court hearing

Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova and her lawyer before a court hearing.

Image: Alamy

Mr Kleymenov added: “It is necessary to call things by their proper names.

“Differently, if one were to call the famous action for 30 silver coins a soul impulse, world history would be different.

“In any case, I wish everyone good health. All without exception. Also traitors. You must continue to live with this burden.”

Of their protest, Mr. Kleymenov said: “Emotional impulse is one thing.

“But treason is something else.”

It comes as the Kremlin has restricted most content while the Ukraine conflict is ongoing to spread propaganda through state-run media without Western influence.

Ms Ovsyannikova was accused of “organizing an unauthorized public event”, which could result in a fine of up to 30,000 rubles (£215) or up to 10 days in jail.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised their courage in his daily speech after the incident.

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