A Russian state TV employee has been commended for her bravery after interrupting a live broadcast to protest Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The woman, who has been identified as station editor Marina Ovsyannikova, can be seen running behind the presenter on state TV’s Channel One during a live broadcast.
“Stop the war,” Ovsyannikova is heard chanting.
She carries a sign reading: “Stop the war, don’t believe propaganda, they’re lying to you.”
Despite the interruption, the presenter continued the Monday night broadcast unfazed, while the station cut to B-roll footage.
But Ovsyannikova has since vanished, and is now believed to be in police custody. She reportedly faces charges for “discrediting the Russian armed forces,” which can carry a prison term of up to 15 years.
Prior to the remarkable protest, Ovsyannikova posted a video message to her Facebook page. In the now-deleted clip, she says her father is Ukrainian and says she is “ashamed” to have worked for Channel One.
“I’m ashamed that I allowed myself to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed Russians to be turned into zombies,” she said.
“We are Russian people. A thinking and smart people. Only we have the power to stop this madness. Go to protests. Do not be afraid. They cannot put us all in jail.”
Ovsyannikova has since received thousands of comments of support on her newly-updated Facebook profile, which appears to be taken on the same day as the video.
“Wow, that girl is cool,” Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, wrote on Twitter.
President Zelensky sends his thanks
Praise has also come from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who thanked Ovsyannikova for her bravery in a statement published on Telegram.
Meduza editor Kevin Rothrock said Mr Zelensky thanked Ovsyannikova and many other Russians for their courage in speaking out about the war.
News anchor’s bizarre response
The station’s presenter, Yekaterina Andreyeva, has also seemingly responded to the incident.
She posted a bizarre Instagram video, despite the platform now being banned in Russia.
Ms Andreyeva, who has hosted the channel’s main nightly show since 1997, can can be seen repeating the phrase “still as stone”.