Woman who protested war on Russian state TV appears in court after lawyers report her missing

Update 1:09 p.m. ET: Ovsyannikova appeared in court with her lawyer late on Tuesday, and according to Reuters, she was fined 30,000 roubles, or $280. This post's headline has been updated; our original story appears below.

Where is Marina Ovsyannikova, the woman who protested against the war in Ukraine on Russian state TV? Her lawyers aren't sure.

Ovsyannikova, an editor at the Russian state-run Channel One, in a viral video on Monday held a sign on the air that read, "Stop the war. Don't believe in propaganda. They're lying to you." By Tuesday morning, Dmitry Zakhvatov, a lawyer for Ovsyannikova, told CNN he's been trying to locate her since the protest but doesn't know where she is.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Another lawyer, Anastasia Kostanova, told BBC News she "spent the whole night looking" for Ovsyannikova but hasn't been able to reach her.

See more

"This means that they are hiding her from her lawyers and trying to deprive her of legal assistance and, apparently, they are trying to prepare the most stringent prosecution," Kostanova told BBC News, while attorney Pavel Chikov tweeted she "has not yet been found" and "has been imprisoned for more than 12 hours." Ovsyannikova was reportedly detained after the protest.

In addition to the sign, Ovsyannikova also recorded a video message, saying she's "ashamed" to be spreading Kremlin propaganda and that "what is happening in Ukraine is a crime."

According to The Washington Post, Russia's state-run news agency TASS reported that the Russian Investigative Committee began a "pre-investigation check" against Ovsyannikova, which could lead to charges for "discrediting" Russia's armed forces. A spokesperson for the Kremlin decried Ovsyannikova's protest as "hooliganism" and said "the channel and those who are in charge are dealing with it."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Ovsyannikova and others who "don't stop trying to deliver the truth, who are fighting against disinformation and tell real facts to their friends and families."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us