More than 22,000 people have signed a petition asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to secure the release of Svetlana Davydova, a 36-year-old mother of seven who is accused of treason, by informing Ukraine of Russian soldiers reportedly deployed on Ukrainian territory.
The petition, published on the website of the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, says Davydova should be allowed "to return home to her children," including an infant it says she had been breast-feeding.
The Russian children's ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, said on Ekho Moskvy radio that the authorties involved in Davydova's should take into consideration the need of her children for their mother.
Davydova has been in a detention cell since being taken into custody in late January in the town of Vyazma.
She could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if tried and convicted of treason.