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Former Russian state television journalist who protested Ukraine war on live TV is listed as a fugitive

Russian journalist speaks after being fined
Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova fined after anti-war protest during state-run newscast 01:53

Former Russian state television journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who protested against Moscow's Ukraine offensive during a live broadcast, was Monday put on a wanted list for allegedly breaching pre-trial house arrest.

Law enforcement detained the 44-year-old in August and charged her with distributing information about the Russian armed forces deemed to be false by the government.

She faces 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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 activity aimed at discrediting the Russian army amid Ukraine-Russia conflict, attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / REUTERS

Her name was added to the ministry's wanted list, according to a notice on its website.

She was placed under house arrest from August until October 9 after she held a lone protest in mid-July near the Kremlin carrying a poster that read "Putin is a murderer. His soldiers are fascists."

Her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov told AFP Monday that "she was put on the wanted list because of the fact that she is not where she should be until October 9," adding that details would follow.

The state-run news outlet Russia Today reported on Saturday that Ovsyannikova had fled along with her daughter, and that her whereabouts were unknown, Reuters reported.

The former editor at Channel One made global headlines in March when she barged onto the set of its flagship Vremya (Time) evening news, holding a poster reading "No War."

She was immediately detained and said she was questioned for 14 hours without any representation present. She has been fined twice for the protest.

Following her release, she told Reuters that Russian President Vladimir Putin's February invasion of the neighboring country was a "trigger" for her, as she grew up in Chechnya.

"Very vivid images from my childhood came flooding back. I understood. I could feel what these unfortunate people are going through. It's really beyond the pale," Ovsyannikova had said. "It was impossible for me to remain silent anymore. ... And ordinary people like me — ordinary Russian women — need to do something about it. Everyone in Russia."

A month after the incident, Ovsyannikova was hired as a freelance correspondent for a German news station.

Criticism of Putin's decision to send troops to Ukraine on February 24 has been virtually outlawed in Russia.

After sending troops to Ukraine, Moscow adopted laws imposing sentences of up to 15 years in prison for spreading information about the military deemed false by the authorities.

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