Putin's Speech During Rally Suddenly Cuts to Patriotic Song in 'Technical Glitch,' Kremlin Says

Officials claimed a technical glitch caused the cut away to a patriotic song, but the incident echoed Russian editor Marina Ovsyannikova’s anti-war protest during a television broadcast seen around the world.

Vladimir Putin is doing what he can to appear to rally support within Russia, including by holding a rally celebrating his invasion of Ukraine.

Flag-waving supporters could be seen during a live TV broadcast cheering Putin at Moscow’s largest soccer stadium. 

During the rally, Putin was dressed in a quilted Loro Piana parka that costs more than $13,000. Spectators at the rally were reportedly paid 500 rubles each, which is about $5, to attend, and video showed people leaving the rally early.

As Putin addressed the crowd, Russian state television suddenly cut away to a patriotic song.

Officials claimed it was just a technical glitch, but the incident echoed Russian producer Marina Ovsyannikova’s anti-war protest during a television broadcast seen around the world. Ovsyannikova was ordered to pay 30,000 rubles, or about $273, after walking behind a news presenter during broadcast of Russia’s most-watched evening news and yelling, “Stop the war!” while holding up a sign that read, “They’re lying to you here.” That broadcast also then cut away.

Ovsyannikova, who said she had been questioned for more than 14 hours, was fined specifically for a participating in a prerecorded video in which she said was “deeply ashamed” to have helped make “Kremlin propaganda.” 

She is also being investigated for violating Russia's new "false information" law that makes it illegal to disseminate news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine that differs from the government's official narrative. If found guilty, she could face up to 15 years in prison. 

Despite Putin’s claims during the rally that the invasion of Ukraine was going according to plan, military experts say the Russian military machine is stalled.

Experts have said the next eight to 10 days will be critical for Russia, noting troops are bogged down and the military has seen significant losses. And as a result, some have said, more atrocities against civilians may be forthcoming.  

A residential neighborhood in Kyiv was pummeled by Russian missiles, and in Lviv, cruise missiles from warships destroyed a military aircraft repair facility near the city’s airport. About 200,000 refugees had fled to Lviv, which had been considered safe.

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