It is an act of courage in response to the violence of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. After her pacifist action live on Russian television, journalist Marina Ovsyannikova faces up to 15 years in prison. A terrible sanction that, in the eyes of the French government, will not go ahead.
This Monday, March 14, the journalist of Russian-Ukrainian descent burst into a pro-Kremlin television newscast with a sign against the war. This poster featured these three punchy sentences: “Stop the War. Don’t believe the propaganda. They lie to you.” If she is currently free, Marina Ovsyannikova will nevertheless face criminal charges for publishing “false information” about the Russian military.
But for Emmanuel Macron, this brave act deserves the respect of France. On Tuesday, March 15, during a trip to a refugee reception center in Maine et Loire, the president expressed his wish to offer the journalist diplomatic protection.
“Obviously we will take diplomatic steps to provide protection, either at the embassy or at asylum protection. I will have the opportunity at my next meeting with President Putin to propose this solution in a direct and very concrete way, as I have done every times […] I hope we can get clarity on his personal situation and his ability to continue his work as soon as possible.”
During this speech, the head of state did not remember “France’s unconditional support for all journalists, journalists covering the war in Ukraine and also journalists working to inform in Russia”† On Twitter, the Élysée also shared a statement of support for Marina Ovsyannikova.
A symbolic protection for this brave pacifist action.