Marina Ovsyannikova, the Russian journalist who protested the Ukrainian invasion on live television, has confirmed her escape from house arrest. The journalist said she escaped because her charges were illegal.
“I consider myself completely innocent, and since our state refuses to comply with its laws, I refuse to comply with the measure of restraint imposed on me as of 30 September 2022 and release myself from it,” Ms. Ovsyannikova said on telegram.
Her ex-husband previously confirmed her escape on Tuesday, saying she fled with their 11-year-old daughter.
“Last night, my ex-wife left the place that the court assigned her for house arrest and, together with my 11-year-old daughter, fled in an unknown direction,” the ex-husband said on Tuesday.
The 44-year-old was given two months of house arrest in August for protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Her lawyer said she was due to appear for a hearing on Wednesday, but investigations revealed that she was nowhere to be found.
The journalist became famous for appearing on Russian State television in March, with a placard carrying the inscription: “No War” and “They are lying to you here.” That became the end of her job, but she immediately took up a new role of standing up to the Russian government and calling for the end of the war in Ukraine.
“We need to put an end to this fratricidal war so this madness does not turn into nuclear war. I hope when my son is older he will understand why I did this,” the mother of two said in March.
Despite asylum offers from the French government, Ms. Marina said she would remain in Russia with her family.
“I don’t want to leave our country. I am a patriot, my son is even more so. We don’t want to leave in any way, we don’t want to go anywhere,” she said.
Many western countries, no doubt, would want to accommodate her from the fearful Russian government and she might have escaped from the country. Her announcement suggests that she could have fled Russia completely.
For now, her whereabouts remain unknown and Moscow has added her name to the Russian fugitive list.
If found guilty of the charges of spreading fake news about the Russian military, she could face up to ten years in jail. However, her escape from custody would mean additional jail time if she is caught.