A Moscow court on Thursday has placed former state TV journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who has criticized President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine live on air, under house arrest until October.
Investigators have arrested Ovsyannikova (44) on Wednesday and charged her with sharing information about the Russian armed forces deemed fake by the government.
The mother of 2 faces up to 10 years in jail, in case if convicted. During March, Ovsyannikova, then an editor at Channel One television, made it to the headlines when she pushed onto the set of its flagship Vremya (Time) evening news, while holding a poster reading “No War.”
Whereas, the house arrest is not connected to that specific protest. It is linked to a one-woman protest in mid-July near the Kremlin, when Ovsyannikova held a poster that read “Putin is a murderer, his soldiers are fascists.”
Three “blood-soaked” toy dolls were laid on the ground in front of her. At Moscow’s Basmanny district court on Thursday, she was placed in a cage surrounded by several policemen.
She held a sign which says “May the dead children haunt you in your dreams.”
Her lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov said on Telegram app that “even” the Soviet Union’s most brutal serial killer Andrei Chikatilo was not guarded so closely.
During a closed-door hearing, the court ruled that Ovsyannkova be placed under house arrest until October 9.
Zakhvatov said, “I don’t even know what to say. Good that it is not jail? Certainly good, but it is still sickening.”
Criticism of Putin’s decision to send military to Ukraine on February 24 has been virtually outlawed in Russia.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron has offered Ovsyannikova, who worked for Russian state TV for 19 years, asylum or other forms of consular protection.
Earlier this year prominent Putin critics Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza were put in pre-trial jail for condemning Moscow’s Ukraine offensive.