Thursday, October 6, 2022
Oct. 6, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Russian journalist detained, charged over war criticism

By
Published:
2 Photos
FILE - Marina Ovsyannikova, a former Russian state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, speaks to journalists as she arrives for a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 28, 2022. Russian authorities on Wednesday raided the home of a former state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest against Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine. The case against Marina Ovsyannikova was launched under a law that penalizes statements against the military.
FILE - Marina Ovsyannikova, a former Russian state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, speaks to journalists as she arrives for a hearing in a court in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 28, 2022. Russian authorities on Wednesday raided the home of a former state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest against Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine. The case against Marina Ovsyannikova was launched under a law that penalizes statements against the military. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) Photo Gallery

Russian authorities on Wednesday detained a former state TV journalist who quit after making an on-air protest against Moscow’s war in Ukraine, and charged her with spreading false information about Russia’s armed forces, her lawyer said on social media.

Marina Ovsyannikova was charged over a protest she staged last month, holding a banner that said “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is a killer, his soldiers are fascists. 352 children have been killed (in Ukraine). How many more children should die for you to stop?”

If tried and convicted, Ovsyannikova faces up to 10 years in prison under a new law that penalizes statements against the military and that was enacted shortly after Russian troops moved into Ukraine, lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov said in a Telegram post.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ovsyannikova’s home was raided, and she was taken for questioning. Zakhvatov said she will spend the night in a holding cell at Moscow police headquarters.

Ovsyannikova used to work as a producer with Russian state-funded Channel One. She made international headlines on March 14, when she appeared behind the anchor of an evening news broadcast holding a poster that said “stop the war, don’t believe the propaganda, they are lying to you here.” She was charged with disparaging the Russian military and fined 30,000 rubles ($270 at the time).

After quitting her job, Ovsyannikova became somewhat of an activist, staging antiwar pickets and speaking out publicly against the conflict.

She was fined two more times in recent weeks for disparaging the military in a critical Facebook post and comments she made at a court where opposition figure Ilya Yashin was remanded in custody pending trial for spreading false information about the military.

According to Net Freedoms, a legal aid group focusing on free speech cases, as of Wednesday there were 79 criminal cases on charges of spreading false information about the military and up to 4,000 administrative cases on charges of disparaging the armed forces.

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo
Loading...