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LONDON (Reuters) – Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged a protest against Ukraine’s invasion on live television in March, was placed under house arrest on Thursday after being charged with spreading false information.
However, her detention is linked to another incident which happened last month when the former Channel One journalist protested alone near the Kremlin holding a sign that criticized the war and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ovsyannikova was arrested on Wednesday after police raided her home in Moscow.
The journalist spent the night in pre-trial detention before appearing in court on Thursday, where she was charged with spreading false information about Russian military forces. The court ordered Ovsyannikova to be placed under house arrest until October 9, pending trial.
“They scared my little girl,” the 44-year-old said in a Telegram post. Ovsyannikova added that 10 Investigative Committee officers raided her home at 6 a.m. while she and her daughter were asleep.
“More than 350 children who died in Ukraine, are they fake… How many children must die before stopping?” She added.
Ovsyannikova could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
His lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, said on Wednesday that “a criminal complaint has been filed” and added that they are awaiting the decision of investigators on the journalist’s pre-trial measures.
During the hearing, Ovsyannikova continued her protest, holding a sign that read “Let dead children haunt you in your dreams.”
Notably, this is the second time Ovsyannikova has been detained in connection with the charges. In July, Russian police arrested and then released the journalist, accusing her of “discrediting the actions of the Russian military”.
Due to the rigid laws introduced by the government since the start of the war, the journalist’s actions expose her to criminal charges for “publishing false information” and “bashing the army”, punishable by heavy prison sentences. under Russian law.
In March, Ovsyannikova became world famous for interrupting the set of the Russian news program Channel One while holding a poster saying in Russian: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They lie to you.”
The stunt cost him a brief detention and a fine, prompting Russian opposition circles to question the validity of his actions.
“I was skeptical about what Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova had done and it turned out that I was wrong,” said anti-Kremlin satirist and radio host Viktor Shenderovich. “Today, Marina is paying a heavy price and deserves both respect and support.”
In the months following her protest, Ovsyannikova spent time abroad, including a brief period working for the German newspaper Die Welt.
In early July, Ovsyannikova announced that she was returning to Russia to settle a custody dispute over her children.