Antiwar Russian TV journalist listed as wanted fugitive

Marina Ovsyannikova (44) fled pre-trial house arrest with daughter (11), ex-husband claims

The Russian TV journalist who staged an on-air protest against Russia’s war in Ukraine has been put on Moscow’s wanted list after reportedly escaping pre-trial house arrest.

Marina 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.

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


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.

"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.

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

Ms 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”.

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