Russian TV journalist who protested war in Ukraine says she's escaped house arrest

Marina Ovsyannikova staged an anti-war protest on live state television, holding a sign that said: “They’re lying to you.” PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW - A Russian journalist who shot to international attention when she staged an anti-war protest on the country's top TV news programme said she's escaped from house arrest.

"I consider myself completely innocent," Marina Ovsyannikova said in a statement posted on Telegram on Wednesday.

The former producer on Russia's main TV network, state-owned Channel One, added that as of Sept 30, she has refused to comply with the house arrest order.

Ovsyannikova told penitentiary officials that President Vladimir Putin should have to wear the electronic bracelet she was required to keep on her ankle "for his genocide of the Ukrainian people and for his mass extermination of Russia's male population," in a video filmed from an unknown location.

The Russian Interior Ministry on Tuesday put Ovsyannikova on its wanted list after her husband said over the weekend that she had fled her Moscow house arrest together with her daughter.

The journalist faced a criminal case under a new "fake news" law over a protest she staged near the Kremlin criticising Putin for civilian deaths in his war in Ukraine.

The offence is punishable by at least 10 years in prison.

Ovsyannikova was a producer at Channel One when she interrupted its news programme in March to stage a rare public protest weeks after Putin ordered the invasion, holding up a sign during a live broadcast that said: "They're lying to you." BLOOMBERG

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