Who is Marina Ovsyannikova, the 'missing' editor who protested live on Russian TV?

Watch: Journalist interrupts Russian TV news to protest against Ukraine invasion

The Russian journalist who protested against her country’s invasion of Ukraine on a live TV news programme is missing, her lawyer has said.

Marina Ovsyannikova, 44, an editor at Russian station Channel One, interrupted a live news broadcast on Monday evening.

She was protesting against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and highlighting to viewers that they are not being given the full picture of what is happening by state media.

Here is what we know about Marina Ovsyannikova.

What did she do?

Marina Ovsyannikova interrupted a news broadcast on the Vremya programme on Russia’s Channel One on Monday evening, staging a protest against her country’s invasion of Ukraine.

She burst on to the set behind a female news presenter and shouted: “Stop the war. No to war.”

She also held up a sign in Russian, which translated into English read: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

(Marina Ovsyannikova/Twitter)
Marina Ovsyannikova posted a video before her protest on live Russian TV. (Marina Ovsyannikova/Twitter)

The bottom of the sign read in English: “Russians against the war.”

Russian TV news is tightly controlled by the Kremlin and only shows Russia’s version of events in Ukraine.

Where is she now?

There is mystery about Ovsyannikova’s current whereabouts.

OVD-Info, a Russian independent human rights group, reported that her friends say she is being held at the Ostankino Police Department in Moscow.

However, her lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, told CNN he could not find her.

"We didn't find her for now, but we are continuing to search," he said.

What has the reaction been?

Ovsyannikova has been hailed as a hero by many for bravely speaking out, and Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday: “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth.

"To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones."

(Channel One/Reuters)
Marina Ovsyannikova, right, staged a protest on live Russian television against her country's invasion of Ukraine. (Channel One/Reuters)

He added: "And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.

“To those who are not afraid to protest. As long as your country has not completely closed itself off from the whole world, turning into a very large North Korea, you must fight. You must not lose your chance.”

But the Kremlin denounced her protest, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it an act of "hooliganism".

Has she spoken out before?

Ovsyannikova published a video on Telegram before her protest in which she outlined her views against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In the video, she said: “What is happening in Ukraine is a crime.

“Russia is an aggressor country and the responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of only one person. That person is Vladimir Putin.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine. (PA)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine. (PA)

“Unfortunately, I've spent the last few years working for Channel One, making Kremlin propaganda, and I'm very ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to be broadcast from TV screens.

“We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It's in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don't be afraid of anything. They can't lock us all away."

What is her background?

Ovsyannikova has a Russian mother and a Ukrainian father.

In her Telegram video, she said: “My father is Ukrainian, my mother is Russian, and they've never been enemies.”

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