Russian anti-war protester who stormed state news show 'still missing' with lawyers unable to locate her since arrest

It has been over 12 hours since Marina Ovsyannikova was reportedly detained in Moscow


Marina Ovsyannikova, the editor for Russia’s state-owned television channel is reportedly still missing after she staged an anti-war protest on live television.

Yesterday, Ms Ovsyannikova burst onto the set of a live news broadcast shouting “Stop the war. No to war,” and held up a poster that read: “Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re lying to you here.”

After the protest, the anti-war activist was arrested and taken to a police station in Moscow according to TASS, a Russian state-owned news agency.

There, she could possibly be prosecuted under the law banning “public action aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation".

Grave concerns have now been raised about Ms Ovsyannikova's whereabouts as her lawyers have not heard from her or been able to locate her 12 hours after the arrest, according to Russian news journalist Kevin Rothrock.

He said: "Ten hours later, Marina Ovsyannikova is still missing. The human rights project has @OvdInfo's lawyers have been unable to locate her since her arrest."

This post was endorsed and shared by OVD-Info, a Russian human rights media group aimed at combating political persecution.

On Monday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the television editor for her bravery directly in a video address.

He said: “I’m thankful to those Russians who don’t stop trying to deliver the truth, who are fighting against disinformation and tell real facts to their friends and families, and personally to that woman who went in the studio of Channel One with an anti-war poster.”

Ms Ovsyannikova also released a pre-recorded video via the OVD-Info human rights group prior to her bold move in which she apologised for the role she played in state TV and spreading “Kremlin propaganda".

She said: “Regrettably, for a number of years, I worked on Channel One and worked on Kremlin propaganda, I am very ashamed of this right now. Ashamed that I was allowed to tell lies from the television screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of the Russian people.

"We were silent in 2014 when this was just beginning. We did not go out to protest when the Kremlin poisoned [opposition leader Alexei] Navalny.

“We are just silently watching this anti-human regime. And now the whole world has turned away from us and the next 10 generations won’t be able to clean themselves from the shame of this fratricidal war.”