Saturday 16 November 2019

Jailed pilot 'to end hunger strike'

Ukrainian military officer Nadezhda Savchenko is in custody (AP)
Ukrainian military officer Nadezhda Savchenko is in custody (AP)

Lawyers for a Ukrainian military officer imprisoned in Russia say she is ready to end her nearly three-month hunger strike if she is offered a balanced diet.

Nadezhda Savchenko has been in Russian custody since June on charges that she aided a mortar attack that killed two Russian journalists covering the war between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists.

She began a hunger strike on December 13 and concerns for her health have risen sharply in the past week.

The Russian prison service claimed on Thursday that she agreed to consume chicken broth.

But her lawyers posted photos on Twitter of a handwritten statement from Ms Savchenko saying the high-fat broth was dangerous to her health and asking for pureed fruits and vegetables.

Ms Savchenko is widely lauded at home. She was well known even before her captivity because of her stint as a soldier in Iraq with a Ukrainian contingent and later as one of the nation's few female military pilots.

PA Media

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