Russian woman charged with treason for reporting to Ukrainian embassy on troop movements

15:24, 29 January 2015

A Russian woman has been charged with treason for informing the Ukrainian Embassy in Russia of the possible deployment of Russian troops to Donetsk, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant.


Svetlana Davydova, a resident of Smolensk region, was arrested in September and a criminal case on charges of treason in favor of Ukraine opened against her. In April 2014, Davydova reported to the Ukrainian embassy that the military base located near her house was virtually empty, and that the soldiers could have been sent to Donetsk. Currently she in the Lefortovo pretrial detention center.

Davydova was detained and her house searched. After several hours of investigations the security officers took away all notebooks, PCs and laptops.

At the end of September 2014 the Ministry of Defense responded to the appeal of the MP Dmitriy Gudkov of "rumors regarding the actions of Russian troops in the territory of Ukraine." In the letter to the deputy, Nikolai Pankov, the deputy defense minister, said that "those rumors" were spread mainly by foreign media, and Russia "was not a party to the conflict" in Ukraine.

A day later, Davydova’s husband learned that she had been transferred to Moscow, where Lefortovo district court chose detention as a restrictive measure against her. The corresponding case is registered in the database on the official Web site of the court, as No. 3/1-10/2015. The case records indicate that the application of the investigator on measures of restraint in the form of arrest was satisfied.

The essence of the criminal case is as follows. According to the Federal Security Service, in April 2014, Davydova noticed that the base of military unit No. 48886, located near her house, was empty. Later on, when going to the city center in local bus, she overheard a telephone conversation of one serviceman of this military base, who said that his comrades had been deployed in "small groups to Moscow, in civilian clothes, and from there they were sent on a business trip."

Davydova, who was closely following the situation in eastern Ukraine, concluded that the man must have been talking about a business trip to Donetsk. She decided to call the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow to tell them she had learned such information and wanted to prevent possible casualties, her husband said, adding that embassy officials promised to take note of the information.

Davydova’s husband said his wife not been active participant in any anti-war demonstrations, although she did not support the war in Ukraine.

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