Russian investigators detained a former state television journalist on Wednesday, months after she staged a rare protest against the war in Ukraine live on air.
The journalist, Marina Ovsyannikova, 44, was charged with spreading false information about the country’s armed forces.
Ms. Ovsyannikova was still asleep early in the morning when a group of investigators and police officers raided her home and took her away for questioning over the false-information charge.
“Are the 350 children who died in Ukraine fakes?” she asked on her Facebook account after the detention, adding, “How many children must die for you to stop?”
Dmitri Zakhvatov, Ms. Ovsyannikova’s lawyer, said in a post on the Telegram messaging app that his client faced up to 10 years in prison for her protest in July, when she stood on a Moscow embankment opposite the Kremlin with a poster that read: “Putin is a killer. His soldiers are fascists.”
The court has not decided whether to arrest Ms. Ovsyannikova, he said, but she was ordered to spend the night at Moscow police headquarters.
Ms. Ovsyannikova worked as a producer at the flagship news program on Channel One, one of Russia’s most popular television networks, when she appeared behind an anchor during an evening newscast with a poster that said: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you here.”
She was charged with staging an illegal protest and fined.
She later quit her job and continued to openly criticize the war. On Monday, a court in Moscow fined Ms. Ovsyannikova $650 for discrediting Russian armed forces, her second fine related to that charge.
Thousands of Russians protested the war in Ukraine shortly after President Vladimir V. Putin sent troops there. The Russian government responded swiftly by making all criticism of the war illegal, which sent chilling shock waves across the country’s civil society.
More than 200 people have been charged with criminal offenses after protesting the war, according to OVD Info, a rights organization that tracks such cases. In July, a court in Moscow sentenced Aleksei Gorinov, an opposition lawmaker, to seven years in prison for denouncing the invasion.
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