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Russian journalist, who protested against Ukraine conflict on live TV, jailed in absentia
Moscow: Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, who staged a protest against the ongoing military conflict with Ukraine live on state-run television last year, was sentenced to eight and half years in prison in absentia, CNN reported on Wednesday citing a statement from the press service of Moscow's district court.
Ovsyannikova was found guilty of "public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation," the court said.
The journalist rose to international fame in March 2022 when, as an editor at Russia's state-controlled Channel One television station, she stood behind an anchor and held up a sign that read "No War" during a live broadcast, CNN reported.
In a statement posted before the sentencing, Ovsyannikova called the charge against her "absurd and politically motivated".
"It was decided to give me a demonstrative whipping for the fact that I was not afraid and called a spade a spade," she said.
"Of course, I do not admit my guilt. And I do not back down from a single word of mine. I made a very difficult, but the only correct moral choice in my life, and I have already paid a rather high price for it," CNN quoted her as saying.
Ovsyannikova escaped house arrest with her 11-year-old daughter last year and is now in Paris, according to her assistant.
Earlier, another prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was sentenced to an additional 19 years in prison on "unfounded charges of extremism", CNN reported.
This came while, Navalny is already in jail, serving 11 and a half years in a maximum security facility on fraud and other charges that he says were trumped up.