OPINION

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Bravery in Russia

Mar 16, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 17, 2022, 3:44 pm
Supporters of Ukraine hold up a sign to protest the Russian invasion....
Alexandra V. and Dima P. hold a sign during a prayer to support Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. Photo credit: Mengshin Lin, Deseret News.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — We work in a newsroom here at KSL; a giant floor where there’s a section for radio, another for KSL TV.

We all see each other in the break room and work together. And for the life of me, I can’t imagine a staff member here running onto the TV news set, standing behind Deannie Wimmer, and holding up a sign in protest.

But in another newsroom far far away, that is exactly what a staff member did.

In a country that’s been washed clean of truth, Russian TV airs Vladimir Putin’s myths 24/7. This absence of honesty leaves a vacuum filled with stories about glorious Russian liberators ridding Ukraine of Nazi animals.

But in a newsroom, you have access to the truth. You have tv feeds that come in unvarnished from around the world and at Russia’s Channel One the entire staff is complicit in whitewashing this war.

Except for one woman.

Marina Ovsyannikova, who scrawled the words “No War” on poster board, ran onto the set and began shouting behind the TV anchor.

Russian TV quickly cut away.

If you did this in the U.S., you’d get fired. But in Russia, for 24 hours the fear was that Marina Ovsyannikova would be tortured or would disappear.

But in Moscow surprisingly she emerged from 14 hours of police questioning to a scrum of reporters barking questions. And though she could face 15 years in Vladimir Putin’s prisons, she’s unbowed and she is free. For now.

With a Ukrainian Mother and Russian father, she said she’s ashamed of the lies her TV station is broadcasting. And while it seems like one woman against the world, her brave act confirmed for many distrustful Russians that there’s another side to the story.

A story untold. Except on a poster board, in scrawls from a sharpie with shouting in the background, from a brave woman who literally stood for truth.

Other Minutes of News:

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Bravery in Russia