More From NBC
Follow NBC News
A protester interrupted Russia’s main evening news broadcast Monday, holding a sign saying “No War” and telling viewers not to believe the station’s “propaganda.”
The brief protest occurred on the state-owned, widely watched Channel One. The independent OVD-Info human rights group said the woman was named Marina Ovsyannikova and that she had been detained and taken into custody.
Her whereabouts and condition were unclear as of Tuesday morning.
Ovsyannikova, an employee of the TV station, described the situation in Ukraine as a “true crime” in a video shared by the human rights group after her protest.
“Russia is the aggressor. And the responsibility for this crime lies only on the conscience of one person, and that person is Vladimir Putin,” she said in the video.
“My father is Ukrainian; my mother is Russian. They were never enemies,” she continued. She added that she was “ashamed” to have contributed to the Kremlin’s propaganda in her time at the TV station.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed Ovsyannikova’s protest as “hooliganism” in a daily news briefing with reporters Tuesday, saying it was not on his agenda.
The United Nations human rights office urged Russian authorities not to punish her for “exercising her right to freedom of expression.”
Earlier this month, the Kremlin made it a crime punishable by a 15-year prison term for people to spread “fake news” and describe the Ukraine invasion as a “war.”
Several foreign news outlets removed their staff or stopped broadcasting. Local independent news organizations have shuttered or submitted to censorship.
The Russian investigative news website Agentsvo reported this month that more than 150 journalists had fled the country.
Russian officials have described the invasion as a special military operation, a term the channel has used while saying the effort aims to “denazify” Ukraine, according to Reuters.
The United Nations said Monday that since Russia launched the invasion Feb. 24, there had been more than 1,700 civilian casualties, including 636 deaths and 1,125 injuries. The organization attributed most of the casualties to explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including heavy artillery shelling, missiles and airstrikes.
An airstrike Sunday on a military base in western Ukraine near the Polish border left 35 dead and 134 injured. The identities of those killed and wounded were not immediately clear, and NBC News has not independently confirmed the death toll.
Tim Stelloh is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Rhoda Kwan is a Taipei-based journalist.
© 2022 NBC UNIVERSAL
In the world of wellness and alternative medicine, people are constantly seeking natural remedies to improve their health and well-being. One such product that has gained considerable attention...Read more