Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova confirms she has gone on the run

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova confirms she has gone on the run

Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for staging an on-air protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine, confirmed she had escaped house arrest over charges of spreading fake news again, saying she had no case to answer.

“I consider myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to comply with its own laws, I refuse to comply with the measure of restraint imposed on me as of 30 September 2022 and release myself from it,” she said on Telegram.

Her lawyer said she was due to turn up to a hearing at 10:00 Moscow time at a Moscow district court, but that investigators had failed to establish her whereabouts.

Ovsyannikova, 44, was given two months house arrest in August over 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.

Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova considers herself "completely innocent."
Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova considers herself “completely innocent.”
Twitter / Marina Ovsyannikova
A woman looks at a computer screen watching a dissenting Russian Channel One employee entering Ostankino on-air TV studio during Russia's most-watched evening news broadcast, holding up a poster which reads as "No War" and condemning Moscow's military action in Ukraine in Moscow on March 15, 2022.
A Russian Channel One employee holds up a poster which reads “No War” and condemns Moscow’s military action in Ukraine in Moscow on March 15, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

She faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of the charge of spreading fake news about Russia’s armed forces.

Her house arrest was due to last until Oct. 9, but the state-run news outlet Russia Today reported on Saturday that she had fled along with her 11-year-old daughter, and that her whereabouts were unknown.

How she left and where she went are still unclear, but on Monday, her name could be seen on the interior ministry’s online list of fugitives from justice, accompanied by a photo.

Marina Ovsyannikova, a journalist who became known internationally after protesting against the Russian military action in Ukraine during a prime-time news broadcast on state television, stands inside a defendants' box during a court session over charges of "discrediting" the Russian army, on Aug. 11, 2022 in Moscow.
Marina Ovsyannikova escaped with her 11-year-old daughter.
AFP via Getty Images

In Wednesday’s statement on her Telegram social media feed, she confirmed her escape, criticizing the article of the criminal code being used to prosecute her and saying she was being persecuted “for telling the truth.”

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

Ovsyannikova came to international prominence later 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.”

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