Russian dissident journalist Marina Ovsiannikova, who protested live on television against the invasion of Ukraine, fled Russia with her daughter to seek asylum in Europe after being under house arrest since August

The journalist Marina Ovsiannikova, known for having broken into a program on Russian public television with a poster against the military campaign in Ukraine and sentenced to house arrest, fled Russia.

After working several months abroad, notably for the German newspaper Die Welt, she announced in early July that she had returned to Russia. Ovsiannikova, 44, was placed under house arrest after protesting near the Kremlin in the middle of the same month, holding a banner reading “Putin is a murderer. His soldiers are fascists”.

The journalist is accused of having spread information that the authorities consider false about the army, which can lead to a sentence of 10 years in prison.

Given the situation, Ovsyannikova’s lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, said that her client “had to leave Russia and is under the protection of a European state at the moment.”

Ovsyannikova gained international recognition on March 14 when she stormed the set of Channel One’s Vremya news program with a banner reading: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you” in Russian. She also shouted: “Stop the war. Not to the war”.

Ovsyannikova, born in Ukraine, was a producer for Channel One at the time of her protest. She was later arrested and fined $490 by a court for calling illegal protests.

In early October, the Interior Ministry added Ovsyannikova to her wanted list and said that she had violated the conditions of her house arrest.

Ovsyannikova’s ex-husband, Igor Ovsyannikov, said at the time that she had run away from her home along with her 11-year-old daughter.

On October 17, Moscow’s Cheryomushki district court ruled that Ovsyannikova’s daughter should stay with her father because her mother “is involved in political activities.”

A law signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March provides for long prison sentences for distributing “deliberately false information” about Russian military operations.

Categorized in: