Russia: Arrest of the journalist opposed to the offensive in Ukraine

Russia: arrest of journalist opposed to Ukraine offensive


Russian journalist Marina Ovsiannikova, who rose to fame after interrupting a Russian state TV newscast with a poster against the offensive in Ukraine, was arrested on Wednesday for “discrediting” the military , announced his lawyer. 

“An investigation has been opened” against Ms. Ovsiannikova for “disseminating false information” about the Russian army, the AFP told AFP. lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov.

“She has been arrested” and will have to spend the night in a remand center, he said.

Investigators must now decide whether Marina Ovsiannikova, 44 and mother of two minor children, will be placed in official pre-trial detention or remain free pending trial, according to the same source.

She risks up to 10 years in prison, if found guilty by the Russian courts.

According to a message posted by Ms. Ovsiannikova on Telegram, a dozen members of the security forces raided her home early in the morning on Wednesday and “frightened” her daughter.

The investigation was opened after a solitary protest action by Ms. Ovsiannikova. In mid-July, she came to a wharf near the Kremlin with a sign saying “Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists,” with “bloody” toys lying next to her.

Since the end of July, Ms. Ovsiannikova has already been fined twice for having “discredited” the Russian army, in particular on the basis of posts criticizing the offensive in Ukraine published on social networks.

Two convictions less than six months apart pave the way for a criminal case, with potential much heavier legal consequences.

Ms. Ovsiannikova became famous in mid-March after appearing in full newspaper , on the set of a pro-Kremlin television channel for which she worked. During her speech, she carried a sign denouncing the offensive in Ukraine and the “propaganda” of the media controlled by the power.

The images of his gesture went around the world. Many people praised her courage, in a context of repression of any critical voice in Russia.

However, she is not unanimous among the Russian opposition, some still criticizing her for her years spent working for the Pervy Kanal channel, voice of the Kremlin.

After having worked several months abroad, in particular for the German newspaper die Welt, she announced at the beginning of July that she had returned to Russia to settle a dispute related to the custody of her two children .

Russia, which has already been engaged for many years in repressing voices critical of the Kremlin, has considerably tightened since the assault on Ukraine its criminal arsenal against those who denounce Russian power.