‘Wanted’ Russian TV journalist confirms she escaped house arrest

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Marina Ovsyannikova, the ‘wanted’ Russian TV journalist, infamous for hijacking a state television broadcast to denounce the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday confirmed that she had indeed escaped house arrest. 

“I consider myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to comply with its own laws, I refuse to comply with the measure of restraint imposed on me as of 30 September 2022 and release myself from it,” said Ovsyannikova in a message on her telegram social media feed.

It is still unclear how Ovsyannikova escaped the house arrest and where she went but her name has been put on Moscow’s fugitive list since Monday when the news of her escape first made the rounds.

As reported by WION, it was Ovsyannikova’s ex-husband that confirmed the news initially to Russian state media. 

“Last night, my ex-wife left the place that the court assigned her for house arrest and, together with my 11-year-old daughter, fled in an unknown direction,” said the ex-husband. 

Read more: Russian TV journalist who criticised Putin listed ‘wanted’ after fleeing house arrest

Ovsyannikova had made headlines by staging an on-air protest on Russia’s Channel One on March 16 evening. The 44-year-old journalist held up an anti-war sign behind a studio presenter. 

“Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you,” read the sign. She also shouted slogans condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

After her first arrest, back in March, Ovsyannikova in an interview with Reuters stated that she had no plans to flee Russia and that she hoped she would not face criminal charges. 

Read more: Marina Ovsyannikova: Russian TV protester accused of being a British spy

However, it was before she was put under a two months house arrest in August and awaited a trial. 

She faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading fake news about Moscow’s armed forces. However, given she has escaped house arrest, the sentence could be increased if she is caught.

(With inputs from agencies)

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