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Russia Releases Activist Jailed Over Letters To Putin


Darya Kulakova is greeted by supporters on May 9.

A Russian opposition activist jailed for organizing a letter-writing campaign to President Vladimir Putin has been released from custody.

Darya Kulakova, 23, was freed on May 9 after serving a 10-day jail sentence for the letter campaign urging, in part, Putin not to run for a fourth term next year.

She was sentenced on April 30 after a court in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region, convicted her of violating a law on public demonstrations and resisting police in connection with the public submission of letters to Putin's regional reception office.

Kulakova was detained on April 29, when opposition activists had planned to stage a protest in Kazan -- one of several organized in other Russian cities that day.

After local authorities refused to grant permission for the protest, she and other activists instead decided to relay the letters to Putin.

Kulakova is a deputy chairwoman with the local branch of the opposition Open Russia group, which was founded by former oil tycoon and Kremlin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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