It was reported by Newsmax that the Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed as “hooliganism” an extraordinary act of dissent by a woman who interrupted a live news bulletin on Russia’s state television to denounce the war in Ukraine.
The protester held up a sign behind a studio presenter reading the news on Channel One on Monday night and shouted slogans condemning Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
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“As far as this woman is concerned, this is hooliganism,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov who went on to laud the state channel as a pillar of objective and timely news.
The protester was identified as Marina Ovsyannikova, a Channel One employee.
She was detained and her whereabouts were unknown Tuesday morning, human rights groups told The Washington Post.
State investigators were looking on Tuesday at whether she could be punished under a new law that carries jail terms of up to 15 years, Russia’s TASS news agency cited a law enforcement source as saying.
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The legislation adopted eight days after the invasion of Ukraine makes public actions aimed at discrediting Russia’s army illegal and bans the spread of fake news or the “public dissemination of deliberately false information” about the use of Russia’s armed forces.
Officials in Moscow describe Russia’s offensive in Ukraine as a special military operation to disarm the country and prevent “genocide” against Russian-speakers, a justification dismissed by Ukraine and the West as a false and illegal pretext for an invasion of a democratic country.
Almost 15,000 people have been detained across Russia during anti-war protests since Feb. 24, according to a tally kept by OVD-Info, an independent protest-monitoring group.