The Russian journalist who protested on live TV runs away from home


Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who staged a brave protest live on state television, has been declared a fugitive after fleeing, Russian media reported.

Ovsyannikova was arrested at home in August. He was accused of spreading false information about the Russian military after taking part in a protest in July, according to Russian state news agency TASS. His detention was supposed to last until Sunday.

Ovsyannikova’s ex-husband said he escaped from house arrest with his daughter on Saturday, TASS reported. His lawyer, Dmitri Zakhvatov, said he could not confirm the allegations.

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

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

The 44-year-old journalist gained international notoriety in March as an editor for Russia’s state-controlled Channel One television station, standing behind an anchor and holding up a “No War” sign during a live broadcast.

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

A Moscow court found him guilty of organizing an “unauthorized public event” and fled Russia, but returned in July, according to his official Facebook page.

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

She also shared the content of a one-woman anti-war demonstration on an embankment opposite the Moscow Kremlin on July 15.

The aerial protest was particularly dangerous for Ovsyannikova as the crackdown on political dissent and press freedom intensified, forcing local Russian media to reduce coverage of the invasion or shut down entirely. International news networks including CNN temporarily suspended their broadcasts from Russia in the days following the invasion.

Ovsyannikova said she felt “ashamed” of her work at Channel One, which she said was effectively selling Kremlin propaganda. But after the invasion, he said he found it “impossible to remain silent” and wanted the world to know that there were many who disagreed with the war.

“The decision was quite a long time coming,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after the initial protest. “The war was the point of no return, when silence was impossible.”

In May from CNN Germany, while working as a correspondent for Die Welt, Ovsyannikova said she suffered online harassment, bullying and attempts to discredit her – including from Ukrainians who disparaged a former Russian propagandist who reported on the conflict. .

— David Goldman and Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.