Russian TV protester listed as wanted fugitive

LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for staging an on-air protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine, has been put on Moscow’s wanted list after her ex-husband reported she had escaped from pre-trial house arrest .

Ovsyannikova, 44, was given two months’ house arrest in August, and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading fake news about Russia’s armed forces.

The case relates to a protest in July when she stood on a river embankment opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists. read more

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The term of her house arrest was due to last until Oct. 9.

However, the state-run news outlet Russia Today reported on Saturday that she had fled along with her daughter, and that her whereabouts were unknown.

Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest on live state television and was later charged with public activity aimed at discrediting the Russian army amid Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

“Last night, my ex-wife left the place that the court assigned her for house arrest and, together with my 11-year-old daughter, fled in an unknown direction,” it quoted her ex-husband as saying.

On Monday, her name could be seen on the interior ministry’s online list of fugitives from justice, accompanied by a photo.

The circumstances of where she went or how she left are not clear.

Russia passed new laws against discrediting or distributing “deliberately false information” about the armed forces on March 4, eight days after invading Ukraine.

Ovsyannikova, who was born in Ukraine, came to international prominence in March by walking out in front of studio cameras during an evening news broadcast on the flagship Channel One with a placard that read “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you “. read more

She has already been fined for two previous protests against the war.

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Reporting by Caleb Davis; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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