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Russian Police Detain, Raid House of State TV Protester Ovsyannikova

Marina Ovsyannikova rose to fame after protesting the war in a live state television news broadcast in March. Alexander Nemenov / AFP

Russian police have detained and raided the house of Marina Ovsyannikova, the former state television producer who protested the war in Ukraine in a live news broadcast, her lawyer said Wednesday. 

Ovsyannikova, who has two young children, faces 10 years in prison on charges spreading “fakes” about the Russian army and will remain in custody until Thursday, her lawyer said.

Ovsyannikova, 44, became well known in Russia and abroad in March after staging an anti-war picket during a primetime news broadcast on state broadcaster Channel One, where she was employed as a producer at the time. 

“At 6 in the morning while I was still sleeping, dozens of employees of the Investigative Committee and the police stormed into my house. They showed an order for the raid,” Ovsyannikova wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“They scared my little daughter. Now I am being taken to the Investigative Committee,” she added. 

The case was opened over Ovsyannikova’s solo protest near the Kremlin in July where she held a poster reading "How many more children must die [in Ukraine] before you stop?"

Zakhvatov, a lawyer with the OVD-Info human rights watchdog, said the police started searching his client's home before her legal representative arrived.

Ovsyannikova has been fined twice before for her anti-war actions. 

In July, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court ordered her to pay 50,000 rubles ($816) for “discrediting” the Russian Armed Forces in an interview she gave during a trial against opposition politician Ilya Yashin. 

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