Europe

Putin pardons woman convicted in Russia for text messages

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned a woman convicted of treason last year for sending text messages about military movements near Georgia's breakaway republic.

The Kremlin published Putin's decree on Tuesday to pardon 46-year old Oksana Sevastidi, who was sentenced to seven years in prison in March 2016. Prosecutors said that the shopkeeper from the Black Sea resort of Sochi sent two text messages in 2008 about Russian military movements near the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

The ruling came amid a recent spike in treason convictions of Russians who seemingly weren't in a position to obtain any top secret information. The eclectic group of Russians charged with treason in recent years includes a mother of seven, a Sochi traffic controller and a Siberian police major.