Home of Russian journalist who staged on-air protest over Ukraine war raided as she faces criminal charge

Russian authorities on Wednesday raided the home of a former state TV journalist who resigned after a show Protest on air Against Moscow War in Ukraine. They also opened a criminal case against her for allegedly spreading “false information” about the Russian armed forces, her lawyer said on social media.

Case against Marina Ovsyannikova It was launched under a law enacted after the February 24 attack on Ukraine that punishes statements against the military, said lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov. A conviction carries a jail term of up to 15 years.

Zakhavatov told independent news site Meduza that the case was linked to a protest Ovsyannikova staged last month, holding a banner saying “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is a killer, his soldiers are fascists”.

Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova attends a court hearing in Moscow
Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged an anti-war protest on live state television and was later charged with public activities aimed at discrediting the Russian military during the Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28. 2022.

Evgenia Novozhenina / Reuters


He said on Telegram that Ovsyannikova is expected to be brought in for questioning before the Investigative Committee after the raid.

Ovsyanikova worked as a producer at the Russian state-funded Channel One. She made international headlines on March 14, when she appeared behind an anchor on an evening news broadcast saying “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they’re lying to you here.”

She was charged with insulting the Russian military and fined 30,000 rubles ($270 at the time).

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Russian journalist Marina Ovsyanikova interrupted Channel One’s live broadcast to protest the war in Ukraine.

After leaving her job, Ovsyannikova became an activist, holding anti-war protests and speaking out publicly against the conflict.

She was fined twice more in recent weeks for defaming the military in a critical Facebook post and for comments she made in court where dissident Ilya Yashin was remanded pending trial for spreading false information about the military.

According to Net Freedoms, a legal aid group that focuses on free speech cases, as of Wednesday there were 79 criminal cases for spreading misinformation about the military and 4,000 administrative cases for insulting the armed forces.

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