Russian police have arrested journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who interrupted a live television broadcast in March to denounce military action in Ukraine, her lawyer said.
No official statement was made, but her detention on Sunday came a few days after 44-year-old Ovsyannikova demonstrated alone near the Kremlin with a placard criticizing Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and President Vladimir. Putin.
“Marina has been arrested,” her entourage said in a message to the journalist’s Telegram account. “There is no information on where she is.”
The message contained three photos of her being led to a white van by two police officers after she apparently 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 it’s somehow related to her protest,” he said.
In March, Ovsyannikova, an editor at Channel One television, stormed onto the set of his flagship Vremya (Time) evening news program with a poster that read “No war” in English.
On Friday, Ovsyannikova posted photos of herself on Telegram showing her near the Kremlin and holding a protest sign declaring the deaths of children and condemning Putin as a “murderer”.
Such statements expose her to criminal charges for publishing “false information” about and “denigrating” the military — offenses that can carry heavy prison sentences.
Ovsyannikova rose to international fame overnight in March when she staged her live TV protest. Photos of her interrupting the broadcast went around the world.
She was briefly detained and then released on a fine, but while a number of international observers praised her protest, it was not widely praised by the Russian opposition.
Some critics said she had worked for years for a broadcaster, Pervy Kanal, which they said was in fact a mouthpiece for the Kremlin.
In the months following her protest in March, Ovsyannikova spent some time abroad, including a brief stint for the German newspaper Die Welt.
In early July, she announced that she was returning to Russia to resolve a custody dispute over her children.