Russian journalist who staged anti-war TV protest quits job, but rejects French asylum offer


A Russian editor who protested against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine during a state TV news broadcast says she is quitting her job but not accepting France’s asylum offer, calling herself “a patriot”.

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One television, barged onto the set of its flagship Vremya evening news on Monday, shouting: “Stop the war. No to war.” She held a sign saying: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.” It was signed in English: “Russians against the war.”

She was detained and a Moscow court rapidly fined her 30,000 rubles (£220). But despite being freed she could face further prosecution, risking years in prison under draconian new laws.

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

Ovsyannikova, who has two young children, said she had “broken the life of our family with this gesture”, with her son in particular showing 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.”

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, earlier this week offered asylum or other forms of consular protection to Ovsyannikova, saying he would bring up her case with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

But Ovsyannikova told Germany’s Der Spiegel in an interview published on Thursday that she would not take up his offer and would stay in Russia.

“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.”

She told Der Spiegel that she had prepared her action alone but indicated she believed many colleagues privately sympathised with her. “Most people who work for state television understand very well what is going on. They know only too well that they are doing something wrong.”

Ovsyannikova told France 24 that some of her colleagues had resigned but many were unable to even if they wished. “I am happy that people handed in their notice but the economic situation is very hard and people find it very hard to stop their work.”

Press freedom activists outside Russia accuse its state television of painting a severely distorted picture of the war in a bid to maintain support for what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation”.

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.