Russian prosecutors are seeking a 9½-year sentence for a fugitive former state TV journalist who famously stormed a live news broadcast in protest a few weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Marina Ovsyannikova, who formerly worked as an editor at state-controlled Channel One in Russia, now lives in exile in France after escaping house arrest and fleeing Russia with her daughter last year.
Now, prosecutors are demanding the nearly decadelong sentence at Ovsyannikova's trial in absentia for distributing "fake news."
This news comes a few days after American journalist Evan Gershkovich marked six months in a Russian jail over espionage charges that he and the U.S. government vehemently deny.
Ovsyannikova's first protest took place less than three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. She stormed a studio of Channel One during a live broadcast holding a placard that read, "Stop the war" and "They're lying to you."
The "fake news" charge relates to a protest in July 2022 when she stood on a river embankment across from the Kremlin with a poster calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a murderer.
Since the war in Ukraine began, Moscow has targeted several Russian dissident journalists through trials in absentia over their criticism related to the war in Ukraine. Such criticism is effectively illegal in Russia.
The Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately reply to VOA's email requesting comment.