Russian Anti-War Protester Speaks Out After Escaping House Arrest

“I consider myself completely innocent," journalist Marina Ovsyannikova declared.

The anti-war protester who stormed the set of Russia’s state-run evening news broadcast in March has escaped house arrest, she confirmed in a social media post on Wednesday.

Marina Ovsyannikova, who was an editor at the Channel One station where she staged her internationally recognized protest, issued the update on Telegram, a chat app Russians have used to share information about the war in Ukraine after government crackdowns on other social media platforms.

“I consider myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to comply with its own laws, starting from September 30, 2022, I refuse to comply with the preventive measure in the form of house arrest and release myself from it,” Ovsyannikova declared in her post, written in Russian.

Marina Ovsyannikova speaks from inside a defendants' box during a court session over charges of "discrediting" the Russian army in August.
Marina Ovsyannikova speaks from inside a defendants' box during a court session over charges of "discrediting" the Russian army in August.
NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA via Getty Images

In a video posted to the app, Ovsyannikova gestured toward her ankle bracelet and called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to wear one as punishment for committing war crimes.

The Kremlin has kept her under house arrest since August for staging a series of protests, including the one in which she held up a sign during the live broadcast reading: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you.” Ovsyannikova could face more than a decade in prison.

It’s unclear how she escaped, and her new location remains undisclosed.

Her former husband Igor Ovsyannikov, who works for the pro-Kremlin RT network, told the station last weekend that he’d alerted government authorities that she and their 11-year-old daughter had gone missing and he did not know where they were.

Ovsyannikov did not appear for a Wednesday morning court appearance, her lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, told Reuters. If the government finds her, she’ll be taken into custody immediately, he said, adding “we hope, however, that this will not happen.”

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