PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors on Thursday are investigating a suspected poisoning attack on a Russian journalist who fled after denouncing it War in Ukraine on live TV.
Marina Ovsyannikova called emergency services and was taken to hospital after she suddenly became ill while leaving her Paris apartment and said she suspected she had been poisoned, Paris prosecutors said.
Police searched her home and the investigation was ongoing, the prosecutor’s office said.
The media watchdog Reporters Without Borders helped Ovsyannikova flees Russia and settling in France, said his team has been “by her side” since she sought medical attention. The group, also known by its French acronym RSF, had no further information about the incident.
Ovsyannikova, who worked at Russian state television Channel One, attracted international attention in March 2022 after she appeared behind the anchor of an evening news program with a sign that read, “Stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they lie to you here.”
She was charged with defaming the Russian military and fined 30,000 rubles (US$270 at the time). She later staged a protest near the Kremlin in July 2022, was arrested and placed under house arrest before fleeing to France with her daughter.
Earlier this month, a Moscow court sentenced her in absentia to 8 1/2 years in prison for spreading false information about the Russian army. It was the latest example of Russia stepping up its crackdown on dissidents since Russia invaded Ukraine almost 20 months ago. The scale of the crackdown was unprecedented in post-Soviet Russia.