Russian journalist who protested invasion of Ukraine gets jail sentence

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 4 Oct, 2023 13:57 | < 1 min read
Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, July 28, 2022. PHOTO/REUTERS.

Former Russian TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who captured world attention when she burst into a news broadcast with a placard that read "Stop the war" and "They're lying to you", was sentenced in absentia on Wednesday to eight and half years in jail.

Ovsyannikova was fined for her original protest, less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, in what it called a "special military operation".

But she later faced criminal prosecution for "spreading knowingly false information about the Russian Armed Forces" in connection with a July 2022 protest when she stood on a river embankment opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

"How many more children must die before you will stop?" the poster read.

Ovsyannikova, 45, fled Russia with her daughter for an unspecified European country a year ago after escaping from house arrest, according to her lawyer, saying she had no case to answer.

The case against her was brought under laws passed soon after Russia's invasion that made it a crime to "discredit" the armed forces or spread false information about them.

Ovsyannikova posted a statement on Telegram on the eve of the verdict in which she called the charges "absurd and politically motivated".

"Of course I don't admit my guilt," she wrote. "And I don't retract a single word."

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