Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged a live anti-war protest on state television, has said the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin has given her ‘some sort of hope’ that resistance might be sparked within the country’s elite.
Ms Ovsyannikova worked for the Russian state broadcaster, Channel One Russia TV, for more than 10 years.
In March 2022 she interrupted a live evening news broadcast by holding up a sign saying ‘Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, here you are being lied to’.
Ms Ovsyannikova, who fled Russia and is now living in Paris, told BBC One’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: ‘I think that this is the first signal that the Russian elite should take notice of, and perhaps some kind of resistance will start within the Russian elite, they might plot against him.
‘This is some sort of hope for me.’
Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova (pictured in Feburary), who staged a live anti-war protest on state television, has said the arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin has given her ‘some sort of hope’
The International Criminal Court issued an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin (pictured n March 16) last week
She added: ‘Over a long time I realised that Russian TV had become a brainwash.
‘I also have Ukrainian roots, my father is from Ukraine. At one point it was like a huge emotional outburst, I didn’t care what would happen to me.’
She claimed that many working in Russia’s state media share her opinions: ‘This propaganda is made on a very high level. People who are working in the main channels, we don’t really believe it. They have similar views to me.
‘No more than 10%-20% of people are pro-Putin.’
Ms Ovsyannikova was put under house arrest in August and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading fake news about Russia’s armed forces under a law introduced earlier this year.
After escaping Russia, she is now on Moscow’s wanted list.
Earlier today she described her dramatic escape from the country with her 11-year-old daughter in October last year: ‘We changed about seven cars, the last one was stuck in the mud, it was not going according to plan. I was almost screaming, thinking it was better to go back to Russia and go to prison.
‘But my daughter was saying “Get up, let’s go, we have to cross the border”.’
Ms Ovsyannikova’s son however did not support her stance.
‘My son called me a traitor, of our family, of our country,’ she said.
‘I can say that for millions of families in the same situation, war ruins a lot of families and this is a real catastrophe.
‘Russians are being destroyed by Putin, not only by being sent to war but on a psychological level. There is an apathy everywhere and millions of people don’t know what the future holds.’
Ms Ovsyannikova said she hopes that she will one day return to Russia.
‘I can’t go back now, but I do see my future with Russia. My family is there, my mother, and they don’t want to leave the country.
‘I will fight for that future even outside of Russia.’
Ms Ovsyannikova has since taken up an invitation to seek asylum in France that was personally issued by President Emmanuel Macron.
The journalist has also written a 200-page book about Putin’s propaganda media that will be released in both English and French.
Ovsyannikova interupted the programme to hold up a sign saying: ‘They’re lying to you here’ and ‘Stop the War!’, on March 15, 2022
Her son, 18, has remained in Moscow with her ex-husband, an employee of state propaganda broadcaster RT.
Just before she vanished, Ovsyannikova posted a video showing her ankle tag that she had to wear under home arrest.
She said: ‘Dear staff of the Federal Prison Service… Tag Putin with a bracelet like this.
‘It is him, and not me, who needs to be isolated from society and tried for genocide of the people of Ukraine.’