Russian Journalist Who Protested on Live TV Escapes House Arrest

Marina Ovsyannikovaa Russian journalist who staged a daring protest live on state televisionHe has been declared a fugitive after going on the run, Russian media reported.

Ovsyannikova was placed under house arrest in August. She was accused of spreading false information about the Russian military after taking part in a protest in July, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. Her detention was supposed to last until Sunday.

Ovsyannikova’s ex-husband said that she had escaped from house arrest with their daughter on Saturday, TASS reported. Her lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, said he could not confirm those allegations.

“All I know is that it’s gone,” Zakhvatov told CNN.

Ovsyannikova has been added to the Russian Interior Ministry’s “wanted list,” TASS reported on Monday.

The 44-year-old journalist rose to international fame in March when, as the editor of Russia’s state-controlled television station Channel One, she stood behind a presenter and held up a “No War” sign during a live broadcast.

The Kremlin described his actions as “hooliganism,” a criminal offense in Russia. Following her protest, Ovsyannikova was detained, interrogated for more than 14 hours, released and fined 30,000 rubles (about $500).

A Moscow court found her guilty of organize an “unauthorized public event” and fled from Russia, but he came back in julyaccording to their official Facebook page.

Ovsyannikova was later fined 50,000 rubles (about $820) for a video recorded on July 13 in which she spoke out against the conflict.

She also shared content of herself holding a one-woman anti-war rally on an embankment in front of the Kremlin in Moscow on July 15.

The on-air protest was particularly risky for Ovsyannikova, as it came during a heightened crackdown on both political dissent and press freedom, forcing local Russian media to scale back their coverage of the invasion or shut it down altogether. . International news networks, including CNN, temporarily suspended broadcasts from Russia in the days after the invasion.

Ovsyannikova said she felt “ashamed” of her job at Channel One, which she said was effectively selling Kremlin propaganda. But after the invasion, she said she felt it was “impossible to remain silent” and she wanted the world to know that many did not agree with the war.

“The decision has been in the making for a long time,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. shortly after the initial protest. “The war was the point of no return, when it was simply impossible to remain silent.”

talking to CNN from Germany in May, where she worked as a correspondent for the Die Welt newspaper, Ovsyannikova said she was subject to online harassment, intimidation and attempts to discredit her, including from Ukrainians who disapproved of a former Russian propaganda covering the conflict.

— David Goldman and Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.

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