Sunday, 24, September, 2023

A day after she burst onto a live news broadcast on Russian state television holding a sign denouncing the war in Ukraine, lawyers with human rights groups told The Washington Post they are unable to locate producer Marina Ovsyannikova, more than 12 hours after she was detained.

The Russian Investigative Committee, the country’s main government investigative body, has begun “a pre-investigation check” against Ovsyannikova over allegations of breaking into the studio, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported Tuesday — which could be a first step toward eventual charges.

Citing an unidentified source, Tass reported that she could also face charges of “discrediting” the actions of Russia’s armed forces.

During a news briefing Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed Ovsyannikova’s actions as “hooliganism” and said the television channel, not the Kremlin, was “dealing with this.”

Ovsyannikova appeared on the set of Russian state TV’s flagship Channel One evening news program Monday, chanting “Stop the war!” and denouncing government “propaganda” — a striking moment of public protest as the Kremlin cracks down on any criticism of its invasion of Ukraine.

OVD-Info, a human rights group that tracks protest activity and detentions in Russia, identified her as an editor and producer with the broadcaster and said she has been detained. Ovsyannikova’s Instagram account also identifies her as a Channel One employee.

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