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Russian Prosecutors Apologize After Dropping Treason Allegations

Svetlana Davydova after being released from prison in Moscow in February 3.

The Russian state has apologized to Svetlana Davydova, a woman who faced treason charges after telephoning the Ukrainian Embassy to report possible Russian troop movements near the two nations' border.

Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy posted a copy of an apology letter that Davydova said she received from the Prosecutor-General's Office on April 24, more than a month after the allegations against her were dropped for lack of evidence.

"I extend to you an official apology, in the name of the state, for the damage inflicted as a result of criminal prosecution," said the letter, dated April 6 and signed by an aide to Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika.

Davydova was detained on January 21 at the home she shares in the western Russian city of Vyazma with her husband and seven children, including an infant daughter.

Relatives and officials said she had telephoned the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow in April 2014 and told them soldiers based near her home might be being sent to Ukraine, the site of a conflict between government forces and Russian-backed rebels.

After a public outcry, she was freed on February 3 but ordered to remain in Vyazma pending further investigation. Her lawyer said on March 13 that the case against her was closed and all allegations dropped.

In a letter posted by Ekho Moskvy, Dadydova said that she and her family had been branded as "traitors and spies," among other things, during the ordeal

She said she considered the apology from the Prosecutor General's Office "essentially also an apology on behalf of those who poured mud on me and family."

She expressed thanks to "those who stand up for democratic values, freedom of conscience, and the presumption of innocence."

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