Russian TV journalist defies Putin again and condemns Ukraine war in court

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest on live state television and was later charged with public activity aimed at discrediting the Russian army amid Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who has been fined a second time for opposing the war in Ukraine. (Reuters)

A former state TV journalist charged with discrediting Russia’s armed forces after she staged a protest against the war in Ukraine has been fined for a second time.

Marina Ovsyannikova gained international attention in March after bursting into a studio of Channel One, her then employer, to denounce the Ukraine war during a live news bulletin.

At the time she was fined 30,000 roubles (£403) for flouting protest laws.

Thursday's hearing concerned subsequent social media posts in which she wrote that those responsible for Russia's actions in Ukraine would find themselves before an international tribunal.

Speaking in court, Ovsyannikova defiantly repeated her protest and said she would not retract her words.

"What's going on here is absurd," she said. "War is horror, blood and shame."

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Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest on live state television and was later charged with public activity aimed at discrediting the Russian army amid Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
Marina Ovsyannikova, has been ordered to pay 50,000 roubles (£672) after being found guilty of discrediting Russia's armed forces. (Reuters)

She has now been fined again, and ordered to pay another 50,000 roubles (£672).

The ruling was passed after a short hearing in a Moscow administrative court.

Ovsyannikova rejected the proceedings against her as "absurd".

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"The evidence confirms Ovsyannikova's guilt. There is no reason to doubt its authenticity," the judge said.

Ovsyannikova had faced up to 15 years in jail for discrediting the armed forces under a law passed in March, soon after Vladimir Putin launched what he calls his "special military operation" against Ukraine.

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Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee who staged an on-air protest as she held up a anti-war sign behind a studio presenter, leaves the court building in Moscow, Russia March 15, 2022 in this still image taken from a video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee who staged an on-air protest as she held up a anti-war sign behind a studio presenter. (Reuters)

Addressing the court, Ovsyannikova said: "Your accusations are like accusing me of spreading monkeypox," she said. "The purpose of the trial is to intimidate all the people who oppose the war in the Russian Federation."

She described Russia as an aggressor country, saying: "The beginning of this war is the biggest crime of our government."

A lawyer for Ovsyannikova said she had the right to speak out under Article 29 of the Russian constitution which protects the right to freedom of expression, but the judge dismissed the lawyer's arguments.

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