Tuesday February 20, 2024

Russia TV journalist faces jail for anti-Putin protest

August 11, 2022

MOSCOW: Russian investigators on Wednesday launched a criminal probe against Marina Ovsyannikova, who denounced President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine on live TV, and detained the journalist, her lawyer said.

In mid-July, Ovsyannikova staged a one-woman protest near the Kremlin, holding a poster that read "Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists." Three "blood-soaked" toy dolls were laid on the ground in front of her.

She now faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted. "A criminal case has been launched," lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov told AFP, adding they were waiting for investigators to decide on a pre-trial measure for the 44-year-old.

Ovsyannikova has been charged with spreading information about the Russian armed forces deemed false by the government and will spend the night in pre-trial detention, said Zakhvatov.

In an interview with AFP last week, Ovsyannikova had expressed hope that the authorities would not place her in pre-trial detention because she has two children. Writing on messaging app Telegram earlier in the day, Ovsyannikova said that 10 members of law enforcement had raided her home at 6:00 am (0300 GMT). "They scared my young daughter," she added.