Kevin Paffrath, the prominent YouTube finance influencer also known as Meet Kevin, is offering 1 million rubles to the Russian TV editor who photo-bombed her own network’s primetime broadcast over the weekend to share an anti-war message amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Marina Ovsyannikova, of Russia’s state-owned Channel One, received a fine of 30,000 rubles Tuesday after she walked into a live set with a sign reading “Stop the war! Don’t believe propaganda! They’re lying to you here!”
“I will gladly send her a million rubles, which sounds like a lot, but it’s like ten thousand dollars right now,” Paffrath told FOX Business Tuesday.
He praised Ovsyannikova’s direct challenge to Putin and Kremlin censors despite a virtual guarantee of retaliation.
“That’s the kind of bravery that we should be encouraging,” he said. “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.”
The Ukrainians’ stiff resistance in the face of Russian forces is evidence that they want to keep their democracy, he said.
“Really this is just Putin being a man child, swinging his saber and killing innocent people to get his sort of North and South Korean Demilitarized Zone,” he said. “It’s disgusting, and this war has to end.”
However with crushing international sanctions on Russia’s banking system as punishment for the war, Paffrath said he’d probably end up paying in the form of Ovsyannikova’s preferred cryptocurrency.
Separately, Ovsyannikova posted a video statement online.
“What’s happening in Ukraine is a crime and Russia is the aggressor,” she said. “And there is only one person responsible for this, this man is Vladimir Putin.”
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She said her job required her to do “Kremlin propaganda” for the past several years and that she is now “very ashamed.”
“I am ashamed that I let lies be spread on television, I’m ashamed that I participated in turning Russian people into zombies, we kept quiet when it all started in 2014, we did not rally when Kremlin poisoned Navalny, we have silently been watching this anti-human regime, and now, the whole world turned back to us, next 10 generations will not be able to get rid of the shame of this war,” she said.
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Paffrath also praised tech billionaire Elon Musk, who sent Starlink hardware to Ukraine to help residents overcome an internet blackout while refusing calls for him to censor Russian media on his platforms.
“Elon Musk was asked, according to him, at least…to censor Russian publications, and that’s because Russian publications have been providing the state-run narrative there,” he said. “Elon Musk rejected that…People should decide what to read and what not to read or watch, and if we’re worried about misinformation, then the only thing government should do is work on improving our schools and teaching better critical thinking.”