European Leaders Travel To Kyiv in Show of Support, Protests on Russian TV – While the Russian military continues its indiscriminate bombing of Kyiv and other large cities during their invasion of Ukraine, several leaders of neighboring European nations were making the dangerous trek to the Ukrainian capital, in a show of “unequivocal support” for the embattled country.
With the Russians trying to encircle Kyiv, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša traveled by train into Ukraine en route to Kyiv as representatives of the European Council.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote a post on Twitter that said the three leaders will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal.
“The aim of the visit is to express the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine and its freedom and independence,” Fiala said.
“At the same time, we will present a broad package of support for Ukraine and its citizens during the visit. The international community has also been informed of this visit by international organizations, including the United Nations.” The Polish government posted a similar statement prior to the leaders leaving for Kyiv.
“The visit is organized in consultation with the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen,” a statement from the Polish government said.
“The purpose of the visit is to confirm the unequivocal support of the entire European Union for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The aim of this visit is also to present a broad package of support for Ukraine and Ukrainians.”
Russian Woman Arrested After Holding Anti-War, Sign on Television:
A Russian woman who works for the Russian state-owned television station Channel One interrupted a live news broadcast on Monday while holding an anti-war sign behind the news anchor while denouncing the war and shouting in a shocking, yet brave act of defiance against Putin’s regime.
Marina Ovsyannikova, whose mother is Russian while her father is a Ukrainian, had prior to this incident worked as an editor at Channel One, walked up behind anchor Yekaterina Andreyeva during the newscast of “Vremya,” which is one of the Kremlin’s flagship propaganda outlets. Her sign, written in both English and Russian, read: “NO WAR. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.” And was signed “Russians against war”.
Andreyeva, who has hosted the Vremya broadcast for two decades, continued reading her segment until the station cut away from the live feed. That segment was later removed. Russian state-run news agency TASS later reported that it was “investigating an incident with an outsider in the frame during a live broadcast.”
Ovsyannikova was then promptly arrested and brought to the Ostankino police station in Moscow where she could face charges under a new law passed recently where Putin has cracked down on any dissent against him, the Russian government, or the military. Independent news organizations and reporters could face up to 15 years in prison for even stating that Russia’s “special military operation” is an invasion.
The independent human rights monitoring group, OVD-Info, posted a video that was recorded prior to Ovsyannikova’s protest on live television.
In the video, she stated, “What is happening now in Ukraine is a crime, and Russia is the aggressor country, and the responsibility for this aggression lies on the conscience of only one person. This man is Vladimir Putin,” Ovsyannikova said.
“Unfortunately, for the past few years, I have been working on Channel One and doing Kremlin propaganda, and now I am very ashamed of it,” she said in the video. “It’s a shame that I allowed to speak lies from the TV screens, ashamed that I allowed to zombify Russian people.”
“I am ashamed that we kept silent in 2014 when all this was just beginning,” she added. “We didn’t go to rallies when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny, we just silently watched this anti-human regime and now the world has turned its back on us forever, and another ten generations of our descendants will not be able to wash away from the shame of this fraternal war.”
“We are Russian people, thinking and smart, and it is only in our power to stop all this madness,” she says. “Go to the rallies and do not be afraid! They can’t transplant us all!”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in his nightly video address to the Ukrainian people, mentioned Ovsyannikova’s actions.
“I am grateful to those Russians who do not stop trying to convey the truth. To those who fight disinformation and tell the truth, real facts to their friends and loved ones,” Zelensky said. “And personally to the woman who entered the studio of Channel One with a poster against the war.”
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.