Russian anti-war journalist who protested live on air on wanted list as she escapes house arrest

4 October 2022, 00:13 | Updated: 4 October 2022, 00:31

Marina Ovsyannikova has been added to the interior ministry’s online list of fugitives
Marina Ovsyannikova has been added to the interior ministry’s online list of fugitives. Picture: Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

A Russian anti-war journalist facing 10 years in prison for a live TV protest has escaped house arrest and gone on the run with her 11-year-old daughter.

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Journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, 44, made headlines after storming the set of a live broadcast with a homemade anti-war sign in March.

She was given two months' house arrest in August - due to last until October 9 - and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading fake news about Russia's armed forces.

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

Read more: Russia state TV editor who staged protest accused of being 'British spy' by former colleague

Read more: Russian nuclear train 'a signal to the West' after fears over how Putin will defend annexed Ukrainian regions

The hearing on the case of the former editor of Channel One, Marina Ovsyannikova, accused of discrediting the Russian army.
The hearing on the case of the former editor of Channel One, Marina Ovsyannikova, accused of discrediting the Russian army. Picture: Alamy

"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," RT 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.

Protester displays anti-war sign live on Russian state television

Ms Ovsyannikova walked out in front of studio cameras during an evening news broadcast on the flagship Channel One with a poster that read "Stop the war" and "They're lying to you".

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised her bravery after her protest, which happened during Monday's 9pm news - one of the most watched programmes on the channel.

She continued to protest against the war and called Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists during a solo protest on the Moskva River embankment opposite the Kremlin.

The mum was fined 30,000 roubles (£460) for shunning protest laws.

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