Russia Says Journalist Escaped House Arrest

Marina Ovsyannikova and her daughter have fled, authorities say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2022 12:32 AM CDT
Russia Says Journalist Escaped House Arrest
Marina Ovsyannikova, a former Russian state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, listens sitting in a court room during a hearing in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist placed under house arrest after first making waves when she interrupted a March broadcast to denounce "Kremlin propaganda" and the country's invasion of Ukraine, has escaped, Russia's Interior Ministry says. The 44-year-old has her 11-year-old daughter with her and their whereabouts are not known, the ministry says. It's not clear how they might have been able to flee, but Ovsyannikova has been placed on the ministry's wanted list, the Washington Post reports. She was under house arrest while awaiting trial on charges of spreading false news about the military, charges related to a later incident in July when she held a sign at a protest that called Russian soldiers fascists. She faces 10 years behind bars if convicted, the Guardian reports.

Igor Ovsyannikov, her ex-husband, reported her escape to authorities, and told them he does not know where the mother and daughter are but that the girl, who is his child, does not have a passport. He and Marina Ovsyannikova are in a custody battle over the girl and her 17-year-old brother, who reportedly told officials he wants to live with his father. Hundreds of independent Russian journalists have left the country amid the war with Ukraine, and many reporters have left state-run media outlets. (More Russia stories.)

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