15 March 2022
by Yan Rachinsky
The incredible incident on that garbage Channel One show didn’t exactly get an overwhelmingly positive response from opponents of the war.
Remarks by conspiracy theorists along the lines, “It was all staged!” aren’t worth reading, let alone commenting on.
Yet seemingly rational people are expressing angst and bewilderment, thinking it appropriate to rebuke Marina Ovsyannikova for the fact that she worked for years and years on this hateful channel, and is now shifting all the blame to Putin.
I mean, this is exactly the same absurd argument made by supporters of the war, who say, “Ok, where were you, then, in the eight years before that?” I say absurd, as it was precisely because of the previous eight years that things turned out as they have now. If someone has only just woken up, then that’s still a good thing!
Of course, you can’t just ignore someone’s past. But it’s crazy to evaluate a person’s actions today purely on the basis that they once worked for the Kommunist journal, were a member of the CPSU or even a member of the Politburo, went on Russian Marches, or worked for the Kremlin or Pavlovsky.
It’s never a good thing to serve a criminal regime, but a cleaning lady who works in the Reich Chancellery isn’t a war criminal. There are [national TV bosses Konstantin] Ernst and [Oleg] Dobrodeev, there are TV news directors, and then there are ordinary employees: editors, cameramen, proof-readers, computer technicians. Equating the guilt of an ordinary television worker with that of Putin means you end up condoning Putin, not incriminating state journalists.
You can’t blame someone for not being smart and righteous right from birth.
There are believers among those who call Marina Ovsyannikova every name under the sun. So it’s worth recalling the well-known verse: “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Gospel of Luke 15:7)
Regardless of everything that came before and after, yesterday’s action by Marina Ovsyannikova is to her credit. She took a big risk and may have changed things quite a bit. Either way, she set an example that it’s possible not to step down quietly, but to state your position and express your contrition in public.
And I hope that those who attack her today out of “righteous” anger will be ashamed of themselves.
Translated by Lindsay Munford