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Russian Journalist Who Protested Ukraine War Escapes House Arrest


RIGA, Latvia — Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who made international headlines after protesting live on state television in March against the war in Ukraine, escaped house arrest and fled with her 11-year-old daughter, according to the Ministry of Russian hinterland.

Ovsyannikova’s whereabouts are unknown, nor is it clear exactly how she escaped her pre-trial house arrest. The Home Office put the 44-year-old man on its wanted list on Monday.

Ovsyannikova, a former senior editor at Channel One, the Russian state-controlled TV channel, held a stunning live protest in March. She yelled “No to war!” and she held up a banner condemning the invasion of Ukraine and telling people not to believe the government’s lies.

Russians Revolt as Putin Recruits More in Battle for Ukraine

Since then, she has been fined twice for the crime of discrediting Russia’s armed forces and was placed under two-month house arrest in August on charges of spreading false news about the armed forces, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years. .

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The latter relates to a protest in July when he stood on the river embankment in front of the Kremlin in central Moscow and held up a banner calling the Russian president and his soldiers fascists.

“How many more children must die before you stop?” the sign said.

Her ex-husband first reported her absence to authorities on Saturday, Russian media reported. Igor Ovsyannikov, in an interview with the pro-Kremlin RT network, said that he did not know where his ex-wife was, but that his daughter did not have a passport.

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Since April, Ovsyannikov and her husband have been in a custody battle over their two children. Her 17-year-old son has already stated that he wants to live with his father, Russian media reported.

“After my daughter disappeared, I applied to the authorities, but I have not yet received any official response from them about the progress of the investigation,” he said. “When I called my daughter, she was confused and answered my questions in a strange way.”

Several other prominent figures, including activists Lucy Shtein and Maria Alyokhina of the Pussy Riot gang, have fled Russia in the past despite restrictions on their movement.

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Ovsyannikov’s escape is the latest embarrassment for Russia, which has faced stunning battlefield losses in Ukraine and mounting criticism of the war at home, including among some key Kremlin supporters. At the same time, the Kremlin has cracked down on displays of dissent as it works to recruit thousands of new soldiers for the fight in Ukraine.

Employee bursts live on Russian state television to denounce the war: ‘Here they are lying to you’

Ovsyannikova did not respond to calls and text messages from The Washington Post on Sunday and Monday.

Born in Ukraine, Ovsyannikova had been a senior editor at Channel One. But when she went to the office the day after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, she said, she realized she could no longer work there.

“Unfortunately, I have been working on Channel One for the last few years, working on Kremlin propaganda,” Ovsyannikova said in a video message she broadcast after the march protest. “And now I am very embarrassed. I am ashamed that I allowed lies to be told on television screens. I am ashamed that I let the Russian people be zombified.”

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“It is only in our power to stop this madness,” he said, alluding to the high price of dissent in Russia. “Get out on the streets. Do not be afraid. They can’t jail all of us.”

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War in Ukraine: what you need to know

The last: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on Friday to annex four occupied regions of Ukraine, after holding referendums that were widely denounced as illegal. Follow our live updates here.

The answer: The Biden administration on Friday announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, in response to the annexations, targeting government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said on Friday that Ukraine is requesting “accelerated accession” to NATO, in an apparent response to the annexations.

In Russia: Putin declared a military mobilization on September 21 to call up up to 300,000 reservists in a dramatic attempt to reverse setbacks in his war against Ukraine. The announcement sparked an exodus of more than 180,000 people, mostly men who were subject to the service, and renewed protests and other acts of defiance against the war.

The fight: Ukraine mounted a successful counter-offensive that forced a major Russian withdrawal in the northeastern Kharkiv region in early September, as troops fled towns and villages they had occupied since the first days of the war, abandoning large amounts of military equipment.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground since the beginning of the war; here we present some of his most impressive works.

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How can you help: Here are ways those in the US can support the Ukrainian people, as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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Read our full coverage of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Are you on Telegram? Subscribe to our channel for updates and exclusive videos.

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