MOSCOW, April 6 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian retired officer Nadezhda Savchenko sentenced to 22 years in prison for involvement in the murder of Russian journalists and illegal border crossing, has gone on a dry hunger strike, her lawyer Mark Feygin wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
A dry hunger strike means Savchenko will refuse not only food but also water.
Leonid Petrashis, the head of the Public Observer Commission monitoring human rights observance in penitentiary establishments of the Rostov Region, is going to visit Savchenko in a detention unit on Wednesday evening and to find out if she has any complaints.
Members of the Public Observer Commission visit Savchenko regularly, last week she felt well, peaccording to Petrashis.
Savchenko was convicted by a court in Donetsk, a town in southern Russia, on March 22.
As the court has established, she was responsible for conducting concealed observation and directing mortar fire in an attack against a roadblock held by militias of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic and a group of civilians there, including three Russian journalists, near the village of Metallist, the Lugansk Region, on June 17, 2014. The attack killed two Russian television journalists, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. Savchenko, who at that time was on active duty in the Ukrainian Armed Forces as a navigator and systems operator of a Mi-24 attack helicopter, enlisted and served on the ground with a volunteer paramilitary unit, the Aidar Battalion, while being on leave. On the same day, she was captured by members of the Donbass People’s Militia; however, she managed to escape.
Charges of firing at civilians in the city of Lugansk have been dropped against Savchenko because this issue is out of a Russian court’s jurisdiction.
Savchenko was arrested in Voronezh, a town in the Russian territory, in July of 2014. The prosecution insisted that Savchenko had been arrested after crossing the border disguised as a refugee in order to plot attacks, what made her a common criminal, not a prisoner of war. Savchenko claimed that she was abducted from Ukrainian territory and that her seizure had happened one hour before the deaths of the journalists.
The ex-navigator pleaded not guilty stating that she had killed people, but only those she considered to be enemies and in self-defense, never with malicious intent. Savchenko refused to recognize the judgement.
During her detention and trial, Savchenko has repeatedly gone on hunger strikes protesting against her arrest and trial.