Russian Journalist Marina Ovsyannikova Who Protested War on TV Faces Criminal Charges

Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who protested against the war in Ukraine during a live TV broadcast, faces criminal charges after security forces raided her home on Aug. 10.

Dmitry Zakhvatov, a lawyer for Russian human rights organization OVD-Info, said that Russian authorities charged Ovsyannikova with “public distribution of false information about Russian armed forces” after kicking in the door to her house.

According to Zakhvatov, the charges relate to the July 15 protest Ovsyannikova held in front of the Kremlin, where she held a placard that said, “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a murderer. His soldiers are fascists.”

The charges are filed under a new law adopted by the Kremlin after launching the invasion of Ukraine.

Zakhvatov said that security services took Ovsyannikova before the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation without waiting for her legal representative to arrive. 

If convicted, Ovsyannikova may face 10 years in prison, according to Zakhvatov.

Earlier in the day, Ovsyannikova said on social media that 10 officers from the Investigative Committee broke into her house at 6 a.m. local time while she was still asleep.

“They scared my little daughter,” Ovsyannikova said.

Ovsyannikova said the officers filed a search warrant and a criminal case against her “allegedly for fakes” in relation to her mid-July protest on the Sofiyskaya embankment.

“More than 350 children died in Ukraine, are these fakes?… How many more children must die for you to stop?” Ovsyannikova said.

Last week, a court in Moscow fined Ovsyannikova 50,000 rubles ($813) for the same protest.

Ovsyannikova gained international attention in March when she stormed into a studio of the state-run Channel One network, where she was working at the time, to denounce the war.

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