Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker's mother asks Putin to pardon him

MOSCOW (AP) — The mother of a jailed Ukrainian filmmaker who has been refusing food for nearly two months is asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon him.

Oleg Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's annexation of Crimea, was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit terror acts. He denies the charges and has been on a hunger strike since mid-May.

In a letter written on Sentsov's 42nd birthday, Lyudmila Sentsova is pleading with Putin to show mercy and pardon her son. The letter was published by the liberal Ekho Moskvy radio station Friday.

Sentsova writes that her son didn't kill anyone, has already spent four years in jail and is missed by his children. She asks Putin "not to ruin his life and the life of his loved ones."