You might think that I am exaggerating, but it is cristal clear to me that your banner is worth more than a hundred missiles. Your shout in the middle of the news, in view of millions of Russians, is worth more than four hundred statements from the European Union and fifty calls from Macron.
From afar, from my boring French trench, your gesture looks beautiful: Putin kicks out the big channels like BBC, Voice of America, Deutsch Welle… but he doesn’t see you coming, Marina, tiny and local. An everyday, inoffensive face, which until today moved obediently in the very bowels of Russia’s first television channel… and suddenly, it hits the wall and stands in front of the camera to shout to stop the war, live on air.
Putin removed giants like Facebook and Instagram but couldn’t stop you, Marina, who last night had the largest audience in the world, displaying your poster on «Vremia», the most watched TV program in Russia, to make the Kremlin’s eyes burn and send a message to your people: «No to war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here. The Russians are against the war.»
The Russian censorship body has decided to erase the words «war» or «invasion» from radio and TV with a stroke of the pen, but you won’t shut them up. You released them to the whole world from the heart of an official channel. It’s only a few seconds of rebellion, but it feels good to see you stick your tongue out at the regime, even if you risk your life doing it.
You are not a CIA spy, Marina, or a NATO undercover agent. You are a woman with a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother, who knows well that this war is pure bullshit.
However, dear colleague, I am certain – and immensely afraid – that the dictator who is sitting on the throne of your country will not forgive this humiliation. Your simple banner will certainly draw retaliation. It will give hives to those who think they have a clenched fist on everyone.
Under the law of your country, you could be charged with «discrediting the use of the Russian armed forces,» a serious and absurd charge that makes you face 15 years in prison.
I don’t even want to think about what your compatriot Alexei Navalny has already suffered – poisoned and imprisoned by the Russian government – nor evoke the possibility that someone touches even a hair of your head.
Your challenge now is huge: use this momentum to keep shouting truths and, at the same time, try to keep yourself safe.
I will not be the one to ask you to disappear from the scene where you have planted your flag, but I would ask you to take refuge in prudence, to rest for a while in caution until the hurricane calms down and dissolves into dust.
Stay safe, Marina. There are still many battles to fight.
You have my solidarity and my respect.
Your colleague who applauds you wildly,
Leer el artículo en español: Carta a Marina Ovsyannikova
Lire l’article en français: Lettre à Marina Ovsyannikova