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News anchor facing 10 years in gulag for on-air anti-war protest flees Russia

A Russian news anchor who faced 10 years in a gulag for a live anti-war protest on state television has successfully fled the country.

In March, Marina Ovsyannikova hijacked a news bulletin by storming onto the set of Russia’s most-watched news show with a poster saying: “They’re lying to you here” and “Stop the War!”

The journalist at Russia's main evening newscast Vremya, on Channel One, decided to flee after she was put under criminal investigation over another anti-war protest near the Kremlin.

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And after a period of people wondering about her location and safety, the 44-year-old's lawyer has publicly stated that she is secure in an unnamed European country.

“Marina Ovsyannikova was forced to leave Russia and is now safe, under the protection of one of the European countries,” her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov told Avtozaklive.

She left Russia into exile with her daughter, 11, but her son has remained at home with her ex-husband, an employee of state propaganda broadcaster RT.

In the latter protest, across Moscow River from the Kremlin and close to the official residence of the British ambassador in Moscow Ovsyannikova, called Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

She could have been jailed for up to 10 years.

“She escaped from house arrest in early October, at the same time she left Russia. I don’t know which country she went to,” the lawyer told Readovka.

It is unclear how she escaped Russia since she should have been banned from leaving and her daughter did not have a foreign passport.

It is unclear if she was helped to leave by a Western country.

Around the time she vanished, she posted a video showing her ankle tag she had to wear under home arrest.

She said: "Dear staff of the Federal Prison Service….

“Tag Putin with a bracelet like this.

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“It is him, and not me, who needs to be isolated from society and tried for genocide of the people of Ukraine.

“And for the fact that he is massively destroying the male population of Russia.”

The TV editor said on her Telegram channel: “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.”


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