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Macron offers asylum to Russian TV editor who protested Ukraine war

Marina Ovsyannikova ran into the background of a live news broadcast yesterday with a sign reading ‘stop the war’ and ‘don’t believe the propaganda’

Marina Ovsyannikova protests Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Pic: Screenshot / Twitter

French President Emmanuel Macron has said France will offer protection to the Russian journalist who yesterday (March 14) staged a protest against the war in Ukraine by holding up a sign in the background of a live news programme. 

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor at Russia’s state TV Channel One, ran into the shot of a news bulletin with a sign that read, “no war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here. Russians against the war.”

Her whereabouts after this was temporarily unknown. 

The BBC reported this afternoon that it appears she is now on trial at Moscow’s Ostankino Court, and is being charged with organising an unauthorised public event, which could result in a fine of up to 30,000 roubles (€247), community service or 10 days in jail. 

Mr Macron, who was earlier today visiting a Ukrainian refugee centre in La Pommeraye (Maine-et-Loire), said France would step in to help her. It is likely he was not aware of her appearance at the Moscow court or the charges against her when he made the comments. 

“We will initiate diplomatic steps to offer her protection, either at the embassy or through the asylum system,” he said. 

He said he would propose this to Russian President Vladimir Putin during one of their now-regular telephone exchanges. 

While on the visit, Mr Macron also said that the French government’s online platform to help host Ukrainian refugees had so far received 33,000 offers of accommodation. 

He also stated that France is able to accommodate at least 100,000 Ukrainians. 

You can read our guide here about the different ways you can support Ukraine from France: 

Read more: How can I help Ukraine from France: Host, donate, support

Related stories

France prepares to welcome 50,000 to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees

How to give more money to help Ukraine (use France’s tax benefits)

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