Russian Heroes

There are heroes and then there are cowards.

Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor and producer for Russian state TV’s flagship news program, ran on the set during a live broadcast with a sign protesting Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Ovsyannikova chanted “stop the war” while holding a sign with the same message and “don’t believe propaganda” and “they are lying to you here.”

They are lying to you there.

The Kremlin has cracked down on journalists reporting the news and has made it a crime to report facts out of Ukraine, especially reports of Ukrainian victories and Russian military failures. Anyone reporting facts will be charged for impeding the war effort. Anyone reporting “fake news” can be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Western journalists have fled the country with several Moscow news bureaus shutting down. Western news outlets don’t want to see their journalists charged with crimes for doing their job or even worse, disappear.

Marina Ovsyannikova has disappeared. OVD-Info, a human rights group that tracks protest activity and detentions in Russia, says Ovsyannikova has been “detained.”

Ovsyannikova was probably expecting to be captured after her protest, so she recorded a video message beforehand saying, “What is going on in Ukraine is a crime.”

She said, “Unfortunately, I have been working at Channel One during recent years, working on Kremlin propaganda. And now I am very ashamed. I am ashamed that I’ve allowed the lies to be said on the TV screens. I am ashamed that I let the Russian people be zombified.”

Channel One is the first channel to be broadcast nationwide in Russia. It’s owned by the state and has over 250 million viewers.

Ovsyannikova said in her video message that her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian. “They have never been enemies,” she said, pointing to her necklace comprising the colors of the Russian and Ukrainian flags.

Referring to the year when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Ovsyannikova said, “We were silent in 2014 when it all started.” She said the silence continued when Putin critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned and then imprisoned. “We just silently watched this anti-human regime and now the entire world turned their backs against us,” Ovsyannikova explained.

She ended her message with, ““It is only in our power to stop this madness. Take to the streets. Do not be afraid. They can’t jail us all.” But they have jailed her along with thousands of others. It takes real courage to publicly protest the Russian government or Vladimir Putin. Ask Pussy Riot. Ask Alexei Navalny.

TASS, the Russian state-run news agency, citing an unnamed government official, reported that Ovsyannikova is detained and could be held liable under Russia’s ban on “discrediting” actions of its armed forces. 

Ovsyannikova’s one-woman protest is being hailed around the world as a dangerous act of resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked her in one of his daily video messages. He said, “I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth.” Thousands of Russians have been arrested for conveying the truth.

Marina Ovsyannikova is a hero for reporting the truth in a nation that doesn’t allow press freedom. Here in the United States where press freedom is the bedrock of our democracy because you can’t have a democracy without a free and independent press, we have cowards zombifying their viewers with Kremlin propaganda. We have cowards like Tucker Carlson.

Tucker Carlson is a coward. While Marina Ovsyannikova is being “detained” by the Kremlin, that same body is ordering state news outlets to feature Tucker. The Kremlin shuts down people like Marina Ovsyannikova while promoting goons like Tucker Carlson.

Marina Ovsyannikova was ashamed of herself for working for Channel One and helping spread Kremlin propaganda, so she did something about it. She’s a hero. Tucker Carlson has no shame and continues to spread Kremlin propaganda. Fox News has no shame for allowing this to infect our nation. Rupert Murdoch has no shame. Fox News viewers have no shame.

Ted Rall, an ultra-leftist American “journalist” works for Sputnik, another Russian government-owned “news” platform that operates in the United States, because we have freedom. Ted has no shame. While Sputnik may be shut down in the U.S. from sanctions, for the time being, Ted is using his social media platforms to continue spreading Kremlin propaganda. He has a following eating it up. But Ted asks, “how can I be a traitor to Ukraine when I’ve never been there?” Ted has mastered the art of deflection which is a useful tool in propaganda.

An American can’t be a traitor to Ukraine. Don’t be silly. But you can be a traitor to American ideals and to democracy. As a journalist, he’s a traitor to truth. As an American, he’s a traitor for being Putin’s puppet, a Kremlin propagandist, and a useful idiot.

The useful idiots like Ted and Tucker don’t have shame that they’re free to spread Kremlin propaganda and will be rewarded for it while Marina Ovsyannikova lives in a fascist state that has “detained” her for speaking the truth. She knew that going in. She knew she would be hunted down and may not ever be seen again. Marina Ovsyannikova could very well be in a Siberian gulag while Ted and Tucker are still cheerleading Vladimir Putin while he bombs more baby hospitals.

In Russia, you’re not free to be brave but in the United States, you’re free to be a coward. How does it feel, Tucker? How does it feel Ted? How does it feel to know the Kremlin wishes Marina Ovsyannikova, and the thousands of others they’ve arrested for protesting against their unprovoked war, could be more like Tucker Carlson and Ted Rall?

We need more heroes like Marina Ovsyannikova and fewer cowards like Ted Rall and Tucker Carlson.

Music Note: I listened to Soundgarden while drawing today’s cartoon.

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  1. Reality Winner,

    Chelsea Manning

    Edward Snowden

    Are these names familiar to you?

    They should be as well as how they were/are perceived.


  2. It is time to start a FREE MARINA OSSYANNIKOVA campaign worldwide, and for the UN to demand Russia provide her living non-maltreated body to the world press. If Putin will not or “cannot” provide proof of her well-being, then it is time to destroy Putin and his generals!
    Living in Nofuckingwhere Alberta I have neither the knowledge or power as to how to start such a campaign, Clay, but certainly you or one of your readers know how. It needs to be started today, before they execute her or send her to Siberia. Please, you have the platform, help her! And all the other dissenters like her! The world needs a new leader, now. You can start this. Will you? Please?


  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Marina can’t be fuond!! … “Marina Ovsyannikova, an editor and producer for Russian state TV’s flagship news program, ran on the set during a live broadcast with a sign protesting Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Ovsyannikova chanted “stop the war” while holding a sign with the same message and “don’t believe propaganda” and “they are lying to you here.”


  4. I came to know Ted Rall’s work through his illustrations in several of Greg Palast’s books. I have a lot of respect for Palast, and unconsciously transferred that respect to Ralls. Upon hearing some of Ted’s recent ravings, my disbelief turned to disappointment and then disgust. He really seems to have gone off the deep end. Glad I’m not alone in that sentiment.


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