A Russian journalist who caused a stir when she interrupted a live news program on Russian state television to denounce the war in Ukraine said on Wednesday she had become “enemy number one” in Russia but that she did not want to leave the country. refuse an offer of asylum from French President Emmanuel Macron.
“I don’t want to leave our country,” she told German magazine Der Spiegel. “I am a patriot, my son a much bigger one. We certainly don’t want to emigrate just anywhere.
Marina Ovsyannikova, producer of the main public TV channel Channel One, was found guilty on Tuesday of organizing an illegal demonstration and fined 30,000 rubles (about $280) by a Moscow court for holding up a placard on live television denouncing the “propaganda” of the Russian government. about his invasion of Ukraine. She had previously recorded a message urging others to protest the war. “Go down the street. Have no fear,” she said. “They can’t imprison all of us.” The charges against her were related to this call to action.
Ovsyannikova could still face other charges. Prior to her sentencing, reports emerged that she had disappeared; she then told reporters that the police questioned her all night and that she could not sleep or call a lawyer. Russian authorities called his act of protest “hooliganism.”
During the time she was unknown, Macron said he would raise her case with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We will take steps to provide [her] protection, either at the embassy or through asylum,” he told reporters during a visit to a center for Ukrainian refugees in western France, according to French newspaper Le Figaro. He said he would have “the opportunity during his next meeting with President Putin to propose this solution in a direct way”.
But when asked if she would accept Macron’s offer, Ovsyannikova told Der Spiegel after her release that she and her 11-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son “don’t want to emigrate anywhere”.
“We will stay in Russia, continue to live here,” she said.
After Ovsyannikova’s release, Macron’s office told local media Euractiv France that “the situation has evolved” since she was offered asylum and that the French Embassy in Moscow would “monitor the situation on the ground”.
Mary Ilyushina and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.