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Woman interrupts live Russian state TV news in anti-war protest

A website monitoring political arrests said the woman, an employee of the channel, was detained and taken into police custody.

The live main evening news program on Russia’s state television was briefly interrupted Monday by a person who walked into the studio holding a poster against the war in Ukraine.

The independent OVD-Info website that monitors political arrests identified the woman who interrupted the broadcast on Channel 1 as Marina Ovsyannikova. The website said Ovsyannikova was detained and taken into police custody.

OVD-Info posted a video in which Ovsyannikova identified herself as an employee of Channel 1 and spoke against the war.

“What is going on now is a crime,” she said. “Russia is an aggressor country and Vladimir Putin is solely responsible for that aggression.”

In a clip of the broadcast shared on social media, the woman can be seen speaking while the anchor continues to read louder from a teleprompter in an apparent attempt to drown her out. After a few seconds, the channel cuts away to a different report. 

Russian authorities have repeatedly and falsely decried reports of Russian military setbacks or civilian deaths in Ukraine as “fake” news. State media outlets refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than a war or an invasion and insist the Russian forces only target military facilities. 

Earlier in the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that criminalizes the intentional spreading of what Moscow deems to be “fake” reports. Those convicted of the offense would face up 15 years in prison.

READ MORE: Russian law threatens 15 years in prison for 'fake' Ukraine war news

Despite the efforts to tightly control the narrative, Russians all across the country have spoken out against the war. Tens of thousands have signed open letters and online petitions demanding to stop it, and street protests in dozens of Russian cities have been happening almost daily since the attack began on Feb. 24 — always followed by mass detentions.

RELATED: Russians hold anti-war rallies amid ominous threats by Putin

The Kremlin has sought to downplay protests, insisting that a much broader share of Russians support the assault on Ukraine.

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