The Russian journalist who defied media restrictions to publicly defy the war on Ukraine in a live TV protest has been offered a job for a respected German newspaper.
Marina Owssjannikowa will now work as a freelance correspondent for the German national daily newspaper Die Welt, according to a statement by the publication’s parent company, Axel Springer.
The publication is the group’s flagship broadsheet title, with a liberal-conservative viewpoint. And although it has a circulation of under 200,000, it is sold around the world, in 130 different countries.
The 43-year-old will report from Ukraine and Russia about current affairs and, as well as writing for Die Welt, she is also set to appear on the TV station of the same name.
In March, the mother-of-two, who worked for Russian state television’s Channel One, held up a poster on camera protesting Russia’s attack on Ukraine during the main news.
She was dubbed the bravest woman on television after holding up the poster, which read: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. You are being lied to.”
Her protest was carried out during a broadcast by Russia’s most famous anchor, Ekaterina Andreeva, on the main nightly news programme ‘Vremya’, which is watched by 250 million people.
She got the job after saying last month that she feared for her safety following the stunt, which saw her fined RUB 30,000 (GBP 273) by a Russian court.
Her motive, she said, was the fact that people were blindly swallowing state propaganda, and she added that even her own mother was one of those being “zombified” by what was being broadcast.
Speaking at the time about the decision to hold up the sign, she said: “It was really scary – scary is not even the word for that. I wasn’t sure whether I could go through with it right until the last moment.
“On Channel One – and the main news programme in the country – there are several layers of security, and it’s not that easy to get into the studio.
“And there’s a member of law enforcement sitting right in front of the studio who makes sure that these kinds of incidents don’t happen. I won’t go into details because it was a loophole in Channel One’s security arrangements.”
The alleged manipulation of the reporting about the war includes referring to it as a “special military operation” instead of a “war” or an “invasion”, claiming that there are not mass casualties, and claiming that Ukraine is the aggressor.
Anybody who goes against the official line faces up to 15 years in jail.