Russian state TV journalist who interrupted live broadcast dodges house arrest and flees


Former Russian state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova has fled the country after escaping house arrest, her lawyer has said. Dmitry Zakhvatov said Ms Ovsyannikova is currently “under the protection of a European state”.

He declined to provide more details, saying “it may turn out to be a problem” for her.

Ms Ovsyannikova drew the world’s attention in March when she burst into the studio during a live TV broadcast with a placard which read “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you”. The Kremlin denounced her protest as “hooliganism”.

The 44-year-old was given two months’ house arrest in August over a protest in July when she stood on the embankment of a river opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a murderer and his soldiers fascists.

Facing up to 10 years in prison on charges of spreading fake news about the Russian army, Ms Ovsyannikova said in an online post on October 5 that she had fled house arrest because she had no case to answer. Her whereabouts since then have been unknown.

After the TV protest, Ms Ovsyannikova told Reuters in March said felt “very ashamed” of her work for Channel One which had “allowed the Russian people to be zombified”.

She also said she hoped she would not face criminal charges and the Russian people would scrutinise the Kremlin’s war propaganda more carefully.

Meanwhile, Moscow has launched a criminal investigation after a Russian fighter plane crashed into a block of flats in the city of Yeysk in south Russia.

Unconfirmed footage on social media showed a large fireball erupting from what appeared to be a multi-storey building.

Agencies said the pilots had ejected and officials were trying to establish information about casualties on the ground.

RIA news agency said the plane was a Sukhoi Su-34, a supersonic medium-range fighter-bomber, and crashed during a training flight from a military airfield.

TASS said the crash was caused by an engine fire.

Interfax quoted the local emergencies ministry as saying five floors of the apartment building were on fire, the upper floors had collapsed and about 45 apartments were damaged.

Yeysk is located on the coast of the Sea of Azov which separates southern Ukraine and southern Russia.

Russia’s investigative committee said a criminal investigation was launched on Monday into the crash of a Su-34 fighter jet.

It added: “Military investigators are establishing the circumstances and causes of the incident.”


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