Russian journalist who protested Ukraine operation on TV detained

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Russian police on Sunday detained journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who in March interrupted a live TV broadcast to denounce the military action in Ukraine, her lawyer said.

No official statement has been made, but her detention comes a few days after 44-year-old Ovsyannikova demonstrated alone near the Kremlin holding a placard criticising Russia's intervention in Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin.

“Marina has been detained,” her entourage said in a message posted on the journalist's Telegram account. “There is no information on where she is.”

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The message included three photos of her being led by two police officers to a white van, after apparently having been stopped while cycling.

Her lawyer, Dmitri Zakhvatov, confirmed her arrest to the Ria-Novosti news agency, saying he did not know where Ovsyannikova had been taken.

“I assume that it is linked one way or another to her act of protest,” he added.

In March Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One television, barged onto the set of its flagship Vremya (Time) evening news program, holding a poster reading “No War” in English.

On Friday, Ovsyannikova posted photos of herself on Telegram showing her near the Kremlin and carrying a protest placard raising the deaths of children and denouncing Putin as a “killer”.

Declarations of this kind expose to criminal prosecution for publishing “false information” abut and “denigrating” the army, offences that can carry heavy prison sentences.

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