Sunday 4 December 2016

Ukrainian pilot 'guilty' of killing two Russians

Roland Oliphant in Moscow

Published 23/03/2016 | 02:30

A Russian court has convicted a Ukrainian army officer of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists, in a judgment condemned by human rights groups and Ukraine's allies. Photo: Depositphotos
A Russian court has convicted a Ukrainian army officer of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists, in a judgment condemned by human rights groups and Ukraine's allies. Photo: Depositphotos

A Russian court has convicted a Ukrainian army officer of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists, in a judgment condemned by human rights groups and Ukraine's allies.

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Nadia Savchenko, a helicopter pilot, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for directing a mortar strike that killed Anton Voloshin and Igor Kornelyuk as they covered the conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Ms Savchenko, who denied the charges, burst into a Ukrainian national song after the verdict was read out.

The Iraq war veteran has been hailed in her homeland as a national hero.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement that she had received an "unfair" trial.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko called on Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to honour a promise to release Ms Savchenko and said he would be prepared to release two Russian citizens in exchange.

Mr Putin's spokesman said the Kremlin could not yet comment in detail on the proposal.

Irish Independent

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