Auckland woman fundraising for Russian army flees to Moscow



Auckland: A New Zealand woman under police investigation for raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Russian military has left New Zealand for Russia.

It was revealed last week that Antonina Ovchinnikova had used the encrypted messaging service Telegram to raise funds for volunteer units of the Russian army, which are fighting as part of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. .

Auckland-based Antonina Ovchinnikova raised money to send supplies to Russians fighting in the invasion of Ukraine.Credit:Abigail Dougherty

On Wednesday, police confirmed they were investigating Ovchinnikova, who stopped posting on Telegram for three days after posting thousands of times since February.

Ovchinnikova has now broken her silence to reveal why she didn’t post.

She had returned “home” to Russia, posting a video from Domodedovo airport in Moscow to inform her followers of her whereabouts.

In the three-minute video, wearing a white sweatshirt with “Harvard” printed on the front, Ovchinnikova addressed her 23,000 followers saying it was nice to have their support, while explaining the reason for his absence.

“Well, what a fuss. I understand the news, of course, oh but I’m not only brave but I’m also smart,” she said, translated from Russian.

“Do you know where I am now? At home in Moscow. I’m very tired after 30 hours of flying with a lot of things to do and a lot of plans that I had already made before all that.

Ovchinnikova claims she understood New Zealand law and knew exactly what she was doing, that she had “beat the b……” and would explain everything in time.

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