Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova has recounted her dramatic escape from Moscow, a week before she was due to face trial for interrupting a live broadcast on Russian TV to criticise her country’s invasion of Ukraine
The journalist spoke at a press conference in Paris on Friday, where she explained that, in October 2022, she had contacted Reporters Sans Frontières to help her escape.
Her journey out of the country soon afterwards involved seven vehicle changes, eventually approaching the border on foot and hiding from patrols before finally making it across.
Our [last] vehicle got stuck in the mud,” she told the BBC, “and we had no mobile phone coverage – we tried to find our way by the stars. It was a very dangerous and stressful escape.”
Ovsyannikova is now settled in Paris. She said she still fears for her life but believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin is risking his leadership over the war in Ukraine:
“The people are living in this bubble of propaganda, but the ruling elite – those who have lost their planes, their yachts, their finances – they understand everything. As soon as a Ukrainian victory gets closer, I believe, the ruling establishment will present Putin with a big bill.”
Ovsyannikova had previously been placed under house arrest and was facing a 10-year prison sentence, after she interrupted a live broadcast to protest her country’s invasion of Ukraine.
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