Between Good and Evil: How I Finally Opposed the Kremlin Propaganda


A Russian state journalist boldly protests the country’s invasion of Ukraine by holding a banner during the evening newscast.

On March 14, 2022, Marina Ovsyannikova raised a banner on the main evening news of Russian television with the inscription “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda.” in English. She was immediately taken to the police station where various investigators interrogated her for almost a day. Working in the international newsroom, Marina Ovsyannikova has long known that the Kremlin was constantly lying to the Russian people.

The war in Ukraine became a point of no return for her—it was impossible to remain silent any longer. In order to tell people the truth, she sacrificed everything: home, family, work, and a prosperous life.

The daughter of a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother, Marina Ovsyannikova subtly felt the tragedy of the Ukrainian people. As a child, she experienced the same thing that Ukrainian refugees are now experiencing when her house in Grozny was destroyed during the First Chechen War.

The live protest was the start of an incredible ordeal. Ovsyannikova continued to work as a journalist from abroad, trying to cover the conflict in Ukraine, but accidentally found herself in the midst of an information war. In Russia, she was accused of having links with the British Embassy, and in Ukraine, she was accused of working for the Russian special services (FSB). Ovsyannikova became the object of constant bullying on the internet, and her ex-husband, who works in the top management of RT (Russia Today), sued her to try to take her children away. Her son and her mother already turned away from her, so she had no choice but to put her life in incredible danger and fly back to Moscow to fight for her young daughter.

Marina Ovsyannikova was arrested for speaking out against the war. She spent the night in prison, after which the judge placed her under house arrest. She faced up to ten years in prison under a new criminal article. A few days before the trial, by some miracle, Ovsyannikova managed to escape from house arrest with her daughter. The Russian authorities put her on the international wanted list.