Marina Ovsyannikova, the journalist who challenged Putin: “I’m afraid for my children, I don’t feel like a heroine”

Marina Ovsyannikova speaks for the first time, in an interview with Reuters, after the raid live on Russian state TV news. She and she to the Russians she says: open your eyes to the Russian propaganda

Marina Ovsyannikova talks, as long as she can. And alongside the obvious concern about her future and her money, she tells in a meeting with Reuters how the protest against the war was born live on the evening news, which made her become a heroine throughout the world, even if she reiterates that she does not feel like one. Indeed, she was also a supporter of Vladimir Putin, until disillusionment took over. The invasion of Ukraine brought back a memory. “My childhood in Chechnya came to mind. Somehow, I began to understand what those poor people in Ukraine are going through. And it is something that cannot be accepted ».

Already yesterday there was some clue that made us think of a personal push towards that sensational gesture. The first is obviously the nationality of the father, Ukrainian by birth. The second is the origin of his family, originally from the Kuban region, where until the great famine of 1930 the population was Ukrainian speaking. That area of ​​southern Russia borders on Chechnya, the scene of two wars of unspeakable violence. A lost, which marked the beginning of the end of the era of Boris Yeltsin. Another won by the new president Putin, who thus began the construction of his absolute power. “We lived in Grozny, and I remember when we had to leave our house suddenly, because staying had become dangerous. I was 12, there were constant bombings. From one day to the next we took what we could take of our things, and we left ».

The images of the new war did the rest. Marina had already decided to make a gesture of dissent. “At first I thought about going with a sign to a square near the Kremlin. But then I thought the effect would be zero. I would have become just another arrested protester. ‘ Besides, she didn’t want to limit her message to a slogan. It wasn’t her only target. “I also wanted to send a message to the Russian people. Don’t be a zombie, don’t listen to this propaganda. Learn how to analyze the news, and look for other sources, other than Russian state television ”. The one you’ve been working for for the past twelve years. And from which, after her, other journalists are leaving in protest. Like Zhan Agalakova, who entered it very young in 1991, becoming one of its most recognizable faces. Even NTV, the competing network, 86 per cent owned by the gas giant Gazprom, seems to be undergoing a mass exodus. The disruptive part, and uncomfortable for the Kremlin, because it reveals the King’s nakedness in terms of partisanship of the state media, is this. And she won’t be forgiven.

“I don’t feel like a heroine, I just wanted my sacrifice not to be in vain and to open people’s eyes.” Except for the first one, the objectives have been achieved at least in part, because the video of her break-in is nowhere to be found everywhere and today there is no trace of her name in the media. “I don’t want to leave this country, because I am and feel Russian. I’m just I’m against the war. I don’t think it’s fair that anyone should be punished for her opinions; therefore, I hope that no criminal charges will be brought against me. And above all, I hope nothing happens to my children. The only thing that really worries me is their fate. ”

The woman risks much more than the fine equivalent of 280 euros that was imposed on her for organizing an unauthorized public initiative. This sanction is only the first step of the ladder that awaits the protesters stopped in the square, a kind of administrative infringement. Marina knows she cannot be arrested, for now, as the mother of two minors. But things could change. The judiciary has ordered the opening of an investigation against the journalist to establish whether her raid on the studio, and what she said in the video message recorded earlier, infringes the new law that sanctions alleged Fake news on the Russian army with sentences of up to fifteen years of imprisonment.

Also because of this sword of Damocles hanging over his head, he gave the impression of wanting to calm the waters around. “I believe in what I have done, but now I also understand the extent of the problems I will have to face, and I am very concerned for my safety.” At the moment, the only certainty is the dismissal from Primo Canale, in practice already announced in the press. “If I go to jail, I hope it will be for a short time” is his final wish. Also for this reason, she repeats twice that she does not feel like a heroine. Whatever happens, she played the part of her.

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