Russian TV journalist fined for ‘discrediting the military’ over Ukraine | Russia


Former Russian state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova has been fined 50,000 rubles (£681) after being found guilty of discrediting the country’s armed forces in social media posts condemning the Russian actions in Ukraine.

The decision was made on Thursday after a short hearing before an administrative court in Moscow. Ovsyannikova dismissed the lawsuits against her as “absurd”.

“The evidence confirms Ovsyannikova’s guilt. There is no reason to doubt its authenticity,” the judge said.

Ovsyannikova came to international attention in March after she burst into a studio of Russian state television, her employer at the time, to denounce the war in Ukraine during a live newscast. At the time, she was fined 30,000 rubles for flouting protest laws.

Thursday’s hearing focused on subsequent social media posts in which she wrote that those responsible for Russia’s actions in Ukraine would find themselves in the dock before an international tribunal.

Russia passed a law against ‘discrediting’ the armed forces, with a sentence of up to 15 years, in early March, shortly after Vladimir Putin launched what he calls his ‘special military operation‘ against the Ukraine.

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In court, Ovsyannikova repeated her protest and said she would not take back her words. She said she didn’t understand why she was there and why she was being judged. “What’s happening here is absurd,” she said. “War is horror, blood and shame.”

She continued, “Your accusations are like accusing me of spreading monkeypox… The purpose of the trial is to intimidate all people who oppose the war in the Russian Federation.”

She described Russia as an aggressor country, saying, “The start of this war is our government’s greatest crime.”

A lawyer for Ovsyannikova said she had the right to speak under Article 29 of the Russian constitution, which protects the right to free speech, but the judge dismissed the arguments lawyer.

This Reuters content was produced in Russia, where law limits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

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