Former Russian State TV journalist escapes house arrest and flees Russia with daughter

Former Russian state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who protested the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a live broadcast and in the Kremlin, is said to be safe in Europe with her daughter.

“Ovsyannikova and her daughter left Russia a few hours after leaving the address where she was under house arrest. They are in Europe now,” said the journalist’s lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov.

“They are fine. They are waiting until they can speak publicly about it, but it’s not safe at the moment,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ovsyannikova’s son, who is grown up, remains in Russia, her lawyer said.

Her lawyer confirmed that both Ovsyannikova and her 11-year-old daughter are now “under the protection of a European state”. However, he declined to elaborate further as “it might turn out to be a problem” for her.

Earlier this month, the state-run Russia Today reported that the journalist escaped pre-trial house arrest and fled home with her daughter, and that her whereabouts are unknown.

The 44-year-old former propagandist editor of Channel One made headlines around the world in March when she interrupted a broadcast of the main evening news programme. Vremya held a placard in Russian and English that read “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here” and “No war” and “Russians against war” and shouting “Stop the war, no to war, stop the war, no to war”.

Immediately after her protest, Ovsyannikova was arrested and, after several hours of questioning, fined 30,000 rubles ($280) by a local court in Moscow, but her lawyers said she may face further charges at a later date.

After the incident, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ovsyannikova for her protest and French President Emmanuel Macron offered her asylum, but she declined.

Shortly after the incident, Ovsyannikova fled Russia and was temporarily hired by the German newspaper Die Welt. She then posted on social media on July 4 that she was returning to Russia to fight a custody battle over her daughter.

“My son is an adult now, he’s almost 18, and he has the right to choose his own destiny,” she wrote in her Instagram post. “But my 11-year-old daughter has to live with me outside the aggressor state. Only outside of Russia at war will I be able to instill correct moral values ​​in my child. She needs to grow up in a free western society where every human life is priceless.”

Later in August, Ovsyannikova was placed under house arrest for her only protest, held on a river bank opposite the Kremlin in mid-July, when she held up a placard calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists – a charge for which she was responsible face up to 10 years imprisonment.

Shortly after invading Ukraine, Russia enacted new laws against discrediting or disseminating “deliberately false information” about the armed forces. Former Russian State TV journalist escapes house arrest and flees Russia with daughter

Fry Electronics Team

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