Russian journalist fined again for war criticism

July 28, 2022 GMT

A former Russian state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest of Russia’s war in Ukraine was fined 50,000 rubles ($860) Thursday for discrediting the military.

Marina Ovsyannikova was charged under a law, enacted after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, that penalizes statements against the military. A conviction is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The fine was imposed for her comments at a court where opposition figure Ilya Yashin was remanded into custody pending trial on spreading false information about the military. The online Latvia-based news outlet Meduza, which covers Russia, said Ovsyannikova called the invasion of Ukraine a “horrible crime.”

She previously was fined 30,000 rubles ($270 at the time) for holding up an antiwar poster during the March 14 evening news broadcast on state Channel One.

In Russian, the poster said, “stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.” In English, it said “no war” at the top and “Russians against the war” at the bottom.