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YouTuber offers to cover fine for Russian TV producer’s antiwar protest

March 16, 2022, 2:25 PM UTC

After storming onto a TV broadcast with an anti-war poster, Russian producer Marina Ovsyannikova is facing fines of 30,000 rubles. And a YouTube influencer is offering to pick up the tab.

Kevin Paffrath, who goes by Meet Kevin on the streaming site, told Fox News he would be willing to pay up to 1 million rubles to the woman who chanted “stop the war,” denounced government “propaganda,” and said “they’re lying to you here” during a live broadcast on Russia’s state-owned Channel One.

“I will gladly send her a million rubles, which sounds like a lot, but it’s like $10,000 right now,” Paffrath told Fox on Tuesday. “That’s the kind of bravery that we should be encouraging. It’s what we need to help wake up that middle and older age group in Russia that’s brainwashed by the Russian media, who actually think that this is some form of liberation for Ukrainians.”

Ovsyannikova’s act came at great personal risk, as the Russian government has increased its hold on media in the past few weeks. Many feared she had been detained indefinitely after her protest, until a picture of her in court surfaced.

The fine was for organizing an illegal protest. It’s unclear at this point if Ovsyannikova will face additional charges. Many international officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who is holding ongoing conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, have expressed concerns for her protection.

“Unfortunately, I have been working at Channel One during recent years, working on Kremlin propaganda,” Ovsyannikova said in a video prepared before her on-air protest. “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. … It is only in our power to stop this madness. Take to the streets. Do not be afraid. They can’t jail us all.”

How Paffrath would get the money to Ovsyannikova was unclear, though he said he’d probably use cryptocurrency.

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