Former Russian state TV editor Marina Ovsyannikova, famous for staging an on-air protest against the war in Ukraine, has been put on Moscow’s wanted list after her ex-husband reported she had escaped from house arrest along with the couple’s young daughter.
Ovsyannikova, 44, was given two months’ pre-trial house arrest in August, and faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of spreading fake news about Russia’s armed forces.
The case relates to a protest in July when she stood on a river embankment opposite the Kremlin and held up a poster calling President Vladimir Putin a “murderer” and his soldiers “fascists.”
During the court hearing in August, Ovsyannikova unfurled a sign in full view of news cameras that read: “May you dream of murdered children at night.”
She was ordered on house arrest until Oct. 9.
However, the state-run news outlet Russia Today reported on Saturday that she had fled along with her daughter, and that her whereabouts were unknown.
“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,” it quoted her ex-husband, Igor Ovsyannikov, as saying.
Ovsyannikova previously claimed in social media posts that she was hoping to travel abroad with her daughter, but her ex-husband would not sign the necessary documents allowing them to leave amid an ongoing custody battle.
The couple’s 17-year son allegedly said he wants to stay with his father.
On Monday, Ovsyannikova’s name could be seen on the interior ministry’s online list of fugitives from justice, accompanied by a photo.
The circumstances of where she went or how she left are not clear.
Ovsyannikova’s attorney, Dmitry Zahvatov, told the independent publication Novaya Gazeta Europe that he had no information about his client’s alleged escape.
Russia passed new laws against discrediting or distributing “deliberately false information” about the armed forces on March 4, eight days after invading Ukraine.
Ovsyannikova, who was born in Ukraine, came to international prominence in March by walking out in front of studio cameras during an evening news broadcast on the flagship Channel One with a placard that read “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you.”
She has already been fined for two previous protests against the war.
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