Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova confirms that she is on the run

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

“I believe myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to obey its own laws, I refuse to pay my 30th birthday.”

Her lawyer said she was due to appear at a hearing at a Moscow district court at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time, but investigators were unable to establish her whereabouts.

Ovsyannikova, 44, was sentenced in August to two months of house arrest for a protest in July when she stood on a riverbank opposite the Kremlin and held up a placard calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova is reconsidering "totally innocent."
Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova considers herself “completely innocent”.
Twitter / Marina Ovsyannikova
Looking at a computer screen, a woman watches a dissenting worker from Russia's Channel One enter Ostankino's on-air TV studio during Russia's most-watched evening news show, holding up a placard that reads: "No war" and the condemnation of Moscow's military action in Ukraine on March 15, 2022 in Moscow.
A Russian Channel One employee holds up a placard reading ‘No War’ in Moscow March 15, 2022, condemning Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.
AFP via Getty Images

She faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading false news about the Russian armed forces.

Her house arrest was scheduled to last until October 9, but state news agency Russia Today reported on Saturday that she escaped with her 11-year-old daughter and her whereabouts are unknown.

How she left and where she went is still unclear, but on Monday her name appeared on the Interior Ministry’s online list of fugitives from justice, accompanied by a photograph.

Marina Ovsyannikova, a journalist who rose to international fame after protesting against Russian military action in Ukraine during a prime-time news program on state television, stands in a defendants' box during a criminal charges hearing "discredit" of the Russian Army, on August 11, 2022 in Moscow.
Marina Ovsyannikova fled with her 11-year-old daughter.
AFP via Getty Images

In Wednesday’s statement on her Telegram social media feed, she confirmed her escape, criticized the article of the Criminal Code used to prosecute her and said she was being prosecuted “for telling the truth”.

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

Ovsyannikova later rose to international prominence in March when she walked out in front of studio cameras during an evening news program on the flagship Channel One with a placard that read ‘Stop the war’ and ‘They are lying to you.’ Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova confirms that she is on the run


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