Russian protester Marina Osvyannikova fined £200 after interrupting live news bulletin

Journalist Marina Osvyannikova could face further punishment as it's thought the fine only relates to her video message posted online before her TV protest, reports ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger

A Russian state media employee who held up a placard during a live broadcast denouncing Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, has been fined 30,000 rubles (around £200) after being found guilty of breaking protest laws.

But it is not yet clear whether Marina Osvyannikova could face further punishment for her protest, a move the Kremlin called an act of "hooliganism".

There had been fears she could be imprisoned for 15 years, the maximum punishment for the new law under which she was prosecuted.

Ms Osvyannikova told reporters after leaving court that she was exhausted after being questioned for 14 hours and was not provided with legal assistance, adding that she would need a rest before commenting further.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ms Osvyannikova's lawyer, Anton Gashinsky, shared a picture he took with her at Moscow's Ostankino District Court.

Her legal representatives had earlier told ITV News Editor Emma Burrows that it was "impossible to get in touch with her," and believed that her phone had been taken away.

Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol tweeted the picture with the message: "Marina Ovsyannikova in the Ostankino district court. Her lawyer Anton Gashinsky is with her."

Ms Osvyannikova was arrested after she interrupted a news broadcast live on air to protest against the invasion of Ukraine.

The Channel One editor ran on to the set of the network's live nightly news show on Monday evening, shouting: “Stop the war. No to war.”

The journalist, who has a Ukrainian father and Russian mother, held a sign saying: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

Speaking in a video address early on Tuesday, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, praised Ms Ovsyannikova's actions.

In a video address, he said: “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth … And personally to the woman who entered the Channel One studio with an anti-war poster.”

Channel One is one of the biggest news programmes in Russia and is seen by millions of people each day.

Before her live protest, Ms Ovsyannikova released a pre-recorded video on her social media page where she said she was ashamed of working for Channel One and spreading "Kremlin propaganda".

“Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now. Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people", she said, speaking in Russian.

"We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning. We did not go out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned [Russian politician and opposition leader Alexei] Navalny,” she said. “We are just silently watching this anti-human regime. And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war.”

Ms Ovsyannikova wore a blue, yellow, white and red necklace - the colours of the Ukrainian flag but also a blend of the Ukrainian and Russian colours, reflecting her dual heritage - in her video statement.

She described Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a "crime" and called Russia "the aggressor", before taking aim at the country's president. "The responsibility of this aggression lies on the shoulders of only one person: Vladimir Putin," she said.

The Channel One journalist urged Russians to join anti-war protests to end the invasion.

"Only we have the power to stop all this madness. Go to the protests. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t imprison us all", she said.

Ms Ovsyannikova was arrested shortly after her protest and was being held in a police station in Moscow, according to human rights group OVD-Info. In a statement published by the state news agency TASS, Channel One said that “an incident took place with an extraneous woman in shot. An internal check is being carried out”.

Monday's incident is the first time a Russian state media employee has publicly criticised the war in Ukraine.

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