US Embassy Tells Russia to Release Female Ukraine Pilot Nadezhda Savchenko
The US Embassy in Moscow demanded Russia immediately release Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who is detained on suspicion of killing two Russian journalists. She was arrested in June and the Voronezh Regional Court said she will remain in pretrial detention until August 30.
From The Moscow Times:
The U.S. Embassy condemned Savchenko's "kidnapping by separatists, her illegal transfer to Russian authorities and her prolonged detention," U.S. Embassy Press Secretary Joseph Kruzich told Kommersant on Wednesday.
The embassy's condemnation echoed that of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's, which described Savchenko's transfer to Russia as "illegal trafficking" in a statement.
According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, Savchenko told Kiev where journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were located. They were killed by mortar fire while stationed in Luhansk. From The Telegraph:
The Investigative Committee said that Ms Savchenko was detained after crossing into Russia disguised as a refugee. However, Ukraine’s foreign ministry said that was a ridiculous claim because she had earlier been held by “terrorists” – meaning pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ms Savchenko had been kidnapped and “trafficked” to Russia, the ministry said, calling for her immediate release. “This is yet another proof that terrorists are planning and committing their crimes on the territory of Ukraine in close cooperation with the secret services of the Russian Federation,” it added.
Savchenko flies an Mi-24 and fought in the Ukrainian Aydar volunteer battalion. She is very popular in Ukraine since it is rare for a female to be a pilot and appeared on many TV shows.