×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

The Russian Woman Convicted of Treason for Texting a Friend Says She Loves Putin

Oksana Sevastidi AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev

Oksana Sevastidi loves her president. “He’s always making magnanimous gestures, and he is helping Ukraine and Syria,” she told journalist Daniil Turovksy, in an interview on Wednesday with the news site Meduza.

Earlier this month, President Putin pardoned Sevastidi, who was convicted in 2015 of high treason and sentenced to seven years in prison for sending two text messages to a friend in Georgia, showing Russian military equipment in transit. 

On Wednesday, Russia’s Supreme Court symbolically reduced her sentence to three years.

Sevastidi told Meduza that she doesn’t hold Putin responsible for the judicial system that sent her to prison in the first place. “Under Stalin they said the same thing. [...] But Stalin didn’t know about all the verdicts,” she explained.

Now that she’s out of prison, Sevastidi is free to return to her 70-year-old mother, who relies on her care. “He saved me and he saved my mother’s life,” Sevastidi said of Putin’s pardon, telling Meduza that she’d like to thank the president in person, and tell him about other people wrongly imprisoned for treason, she says.

Sevastidi also revealed that she remains a member of United Russia, the country’s longtime ruling political party: “I joined back when I worked at the marketplace. Everybody from work went together and joined. I don’t think they’re responsible for any of what happened to me.”

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more