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French authorities investigate potential poisoning of Russian anti-war journalist

French authorities investigate potential poisoning of Russian anti-war journalist

by host

French prosecutors are investigating the potential poisoning of former Russian state TV journalist turned Kremlin critic Marina Ovsyannikova after she was suddenly taken ill in Paris this week.

Ovsyannikova reportedly called for help on Thursday afternoon “because she had collapsed outside her home in the 6th arrondissement and feared poisoning,” a spokesperson with the Paris Criminal Court said.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation into the incident and police were reportedly examining her apartment as part of the probe.

Ovsyannikova, who made headlines around the world in March last year when she denounced Moscow’s war on Ukraine during a live Russian TV broadcast, remained under medical supervision on Thursday, but her condition had improved, according to Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire.

Deloire said Thursday evening on social media that the organization had been by Ovsyannikova’s side all day.

Earlier this month, Ovsyannikova was sentenced in absentia to eight and a half years in prison by a Moscow court for disseminating false information about the Russian army. The charges related to a protest the former Russian editor staged near the Kremlin in July 2022, where she held a poster saying Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a murderer” and “his soldiers are fascists.”

The journalist was placed on pre-trial house arrest, but later fled to Europe with her daughter, which landed her on the Kremlin’s wanted list.

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