Russian journalist who staged anti-war protest rejects France’s offer of asylum

Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian editor who protested against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Monday, has said she is quitting her job, but has rejected France’s offer of asylum as she is a “patriot”.

The journalist, who staged a highly-publicized protest during a state TV news broadcast, was detained after barging onto the set shouting: “Stop the war. No to war ”, and holding a sign which read:“ Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here. “

She appeared in court on Tuesday after being charged with organizing an unauthorized public event and was fined 30,000 rubles (£ 220), but could face further prosecution and imprisonment.

Speaking to France 24 from Moscow on Thursday, she confirmed that she had “handed in all the documents” for her resignation from Channel One. “It’s a legal procedure,” she said.

The mother-of-two said that her gesture had “broken the life of our family”, with her son showing signs of anxiety.

“But we need to put an end to this fratricidal war so this madness does not turn into nuclear war,” she said. “I hope when my son is older he will understand why I did this.”

French president, Emmanuel Macron, offered asylum or other forms of consular protection to Ovsyannikova, saying he would raise her case with the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

But Ovsyannikova told Germany’s Der Spiegel that she did not want to leave Russia, despite the potential danger she is in.

“I don’t want to leave our country,” she said. “I am a patriot, my son is even more so. We don’t want to leave in any way, we don’t want to go anywhere. “

Before staging her protest during the live broadcast, Ovsyannikova released a pre-recorded via through OVD-Info and Telegram, in which she admitted she was “ashamed” for working at Channel One and spreading “Kremlin propaganda”.

She said: “Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now.

“Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of the Russian people.

“We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning. We did not go out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned [opposition leader Alexei] Navalny. “

She continued: “We were just silently watching this anti-human regime. And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war. “

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