March 15, 2022

Let’s not Forget about the brave Russians: Meet Marina Ovsyannikova.

There are heroes in Russia, and they need our support.

Marina Ovsyannikova just became one of these heroes.

She interrupted the news on state-controlled Russian TV—and sacrificed her freedom by doing that.

I am already deeply impressed by every single Russian who dares to use their voice these days. I wrote about Natalya Sindeyeva, who worked for one of the last independent outlets called Dozhd TV.

I am in awe watching these brave Russians who protest in the streets despite the risk of getting arrested.

But Ovsyannikova’s courage blew my mind.

So, what happened?

Ovsyannikova used to be an editor at Channel One. Her mother is Russian, and her father is Ukrainian. And she said that she is “ashamed of working for Kremlin propaganda.”

I am really concerned about her safety.

After her brave appearance on Russian TV, nobody was able to reach her. Her lawyer said that he was unable to find her. We can almost be sure that she will end up in Russian jail for a very long time.

And she knew that, but she still did it.

Her protest must be the bravest thing I have ever seen.

Brave people like Ovsyannikova are our biggest hope right now. And they need our help. Every Russian who speaks up against Putin is in danger of getting arrested, but there is a limit to this.

They can arrest thousands of Russians, but how about millions?

Ovsyannikova reached millions of Russians who watched the news that night. There are protests in major Russian cities. The resistance against Putin is growing day by day.

This war is also taking place on the internet. While Tucker Carlson’s rants got shared on Russian media, our media shows Ovsyannikova’s brave protest. Isn’t that interesting?

We can only hope that heroes like Ovsyannikova inspire Americans to question the narrative presented to them by Carlson, Trump, and Fox News.

And, of course, we must hope that Russians start standing up against Putin.

Every single person in Russia risking their freedom to stop Putin deserves our respect—and support. The courage of these people is an inspiration to all of us.

Scared to speak up to your boss? Afraid of speaking your truth in a relationship? Intimidated by reactions on social media? Well, these brave Russians use their voice against a brutal dictator and risk up to 15 years in jail.

This is not about Russians against NATO; this is about freedom against tyranny. I am not surprised that we find folks on both sides in Russia—and the United States.

Last week, I got into an argument at a local bakery. An old German man made fun of a woman with a Russian accent working at the bakery. I was furious.

I took sides with the innocent woman who had nothing to do with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But it’s more than that. It’s something that really matters to me. Let me tell you why.

My mother is Bulgarian, and my father was German. When I was born, the Cold War was at its peak.

I am half NATO, half Warsaw Pact. I feel for the people on both sides of this because my roots are on both sides of this.

But I don’t feel for the governments; I explicitly feel for the people. I am not a patriot; I am a humanist.

When I was a kid, my mother got discriminated against for her accent. Other children made fun of her—and some of their parents joined in. I got into a fight or two because of this.

I can only imagine what children with parents from Eastern Europe go through these days. I feel deeply sorry for each and every one of them.

People like Marina Ovsyannikova, Natalya Sindeyeva, and other Russian activists show more courage than any of us ever could.

There are millions of people in Eastern Europe who grew up in the Soviet Union. They have already suffered for decades, and now, they are suffering again.

These people need our help to start another revolution. Many of them will go to jail, get tortured, or die. Just let that sink in for a moment. And then, ask yourself, “What would you do?”

It’s easy to grow up in a free society and fall for authoritarian leaders like Trump, but imagine how hard it is to grow up in an authoritarian regime and still decide to become an activist.

It’s easy to tell Russians to stop their leader who risks millions of lives with his actions, but do you remember Trump’s presidency?

It’s easy to tell others to fight for democracy when some of us are too scared to tell our friends to stop sharing conspiracy theories on social media.

Nobody expects us to be as brave as these Russian heroes. But I expect you to acknowledge that not all Russians support Putin. We have to offer political asylum to these activists. They need our help. We need to encourage their fight for freedom.

Every time we share a clip, article, or statement of these brave Russians, we are helping them. Marina Ovsyannikova might be in jail right now, but it’s our duty not to forget her name.

This is not just a viral clip on the internet; this might be the beginning of the end for Putin.

Let’s share it all over the internet.

 

 

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