Ukrainian pilot takes parliamentary oath in Russian prison
KIEV, November 27 (RAPSI) – Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who is awaiting trial in Russia on charges of complicity in the death of Russian journalists in Donbass, has taken the parliamentary oath, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.
Her signed oath was displayed on an electronic screen in the Verkhovna Rada, in accordance with a procedure coordinated by all political forces represented in the new parliament.
Under the Ukrainian constitution, all new members of parliament must take the oath of allegiance before taking their seats, but this need not necessarily proceed in the parliament building.
Savchenko, who never engaged in politics before, led the election list of the Batkivshchyna party alongside Yulia Tymoshenko. The party won 5.68% of the vote on October 26. In early November, the Central Election Commission registered Savchenko as an MP.
Savchenko, 33, is a Ukrainian pilot who called in artillery fire via radio. She was seized by anti-Maidan fighters in June but, according to the independence supporters in the Luhansk area, managed to escape. Later she was detained in Russia, which she allegedly entered as a refugee, and was charged with complicity in the murder of Russian journalists during the shelling of the self-defense forces in the contested Ukrainian region of Luhansk.
Vesti correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed on June 17 in a mortar attack in the vicinity of Metallist and Mirny, small towns near Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. Both journalists were buried in Moscow.
Savchenko denies the allegations and insists she has no relation to the death of the journalists. The court extended the investigation of Savchenko’s case and her arrest until February 13, 2015.
Her lawyer said that Savchenko’s work in parliament would be concerned with legislative initiatives.