The Russian journalist Marina Ovsiánnikova, who last March caused a sensation for protesting against the Russian campaign in Ukraine by interrupting live Russian public television news, has been wanted since Monday. The Russian Interior Ministry included her in its wanted list for justice claiming that she has escaped from her house arrest.
After several protests, Ovsyannikova, 44, received a two-month house arrest sentence last August. She is now facing trial for spreading "fake news" about Russia's armed forces. According to her lawyer, Dimitri Zakhvatov, she can be sentenced to 10 years in prison if she is found guilty of those charges.
That sentence responds to a new law that Russia approved on March 4, days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to start what he called a "special military operation" against Ukraine and sent soldiers and tanks to the neighboring country.
On March 14, Marina Ovsiánnikova, who worked as a producer in the Vremia news program of the First Channel of Russian television, interrupted the live broadcast by launching proclamations and with a poster against the Russian military campaign in Ukraine. "No to the war. Put an end to the war. Don't believe the propaganda. Here they are lying to you," she had written on the poster. And it ended in English: "Russians against the war."
A court then found her guilty of organizing an unauthorized protest and fined her 30,000 rubles.
In July, Ovsyannikova posted photos on Telegram showing her on a bridge holding a sign with the Kremlin in the background. On the banner she had written that Russian President Vladimir "Putin is a murderer, his fascist soldiers. 352 children have died. How many more have to die for you to stop?"
In August, authorities detained her and placed her under house arrest for spreading "false information" about the armed forces.
Lawyer Zakhvatov has said that he does not know where Ovsyannikova is. Her ex-husband, Igor Ovsiánnikov, told RT over the weekend that he had broken house arrest by leaving home with their 11-year-old daughter.