Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
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Russians Being Turned Into Zombies With Lies, Propaganda: Journalist Who Quit Over Ukraine War

Zhanna Agalakova said she resigned earlier this month due to Russia's war against Ukraine and voiced fears that she would be accused of being “a highly paid spy”. 

Zhanna Agalakova speaking at the press conference
Zhanna Agalakova speaking at the press conference Reporters Without Borders' Twitter Account

A former Paris-based Europe correspondent for Russian state-controlled broadcaster Channel One said on Tuesday that Russians are being turned into zombies as the Russian government is feeding them lies and propaganda for years. 

Zhanna Agalakova said she resigned earlier this month due to Russia's war against Ukraine and voiced fears that she would be accused of being “a highly paid spy”. 

Agalakova quit Channel One as the war broke out in Ukraine. She told a press conference organized by media freedoms group Reporters Without Borders in Paris that “when I spoke to my bosses, I said I cannot do this job anymore. I left Channel One specifically because the war started".

The 56-year-old, who used to be a newsreader at the channel, said there is little remaining in the way of independent media in Russia.

Agalakova said that she expected a backlash from the Kremlin over speaking out.

She added, “In Russia they will accuse me of being a highly paid spy for this declaration (today). That is how the propaganda works.”

Agalakova tendered her resignation on March 3, leaving the channel officially on March 17.

Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who protested the war in Ukraine on live state TV, also worked for Channel One. 

Speaking from hiding, Ovsyannikova has since told media of her resolve to stay in her country. 

“I don't want to leave Russia. I am a patriot,” she told German news site Der Spiegel.

Ovsyannikova turned down an offer of asylum from French President Emmanuel Macron, even as she feared severe repercussions from Russian authorities and called herself Russia's “enemy number one” in anti-war dissent.

At least two journalists have also left rival station NTV, including Lilia Gildeyeva who had had worked as a presenter there for 16 years and longtime employee Vadim Glusker.

With AP Inputs

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