US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Russian authorities to release Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who earlier had announced a hunger strike to protest against the fact that the court postponed her final address.
"It's been 20 months since she was detained in Ukraine and smuggled into Russia.” According to reports, she went through numerous interrogation procedures, solitary confinement and forced "psychiatric examination". “Her trial shows Russia’s disrespect for international laws and its unwillingness to fulfill the Minsk agreements," Kerry’s statement reads.
On March 3, Savchenko started a dry hunger strike. In this way, she expressed her protest against the delay of the trial – in other words, that’s how the pilot evaluated an unexpected decision of the judge to postpone her final address until March 9. The trial of Nadiya Sachenko is being held in Russian city of Donetsk located in the Rostov region.
On Tuesday, a member of Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc Irina Gerashchenko wrote on her Facebook account that Ukrainian doctors had been permitted to examine Savchenko. She noted that the information was received from the President of Ukraine.
"A group of Ukrainian doctors will visit Nadiya Savchenko in the coming hours. They are to examine and provide her with all the necessary help. Ukrainian diplomats managed to make Russia promise that our doctors will see Nadiya on March 9," the statement reads.
The Ukrainian consul in Rostov Alexander Kovtun visited Savchenko the day before. Giving an interview to the BBC correspondent, he said that during conversation with the victim, he noticed consequences of a dry hunger strike on her face as she was pale and had dry lips.
Nadiya Savchenko is to attend the hearing on March 9, where she plans to make a speech, the consul says.
Russian investigators have accused the Ukrainian pilot of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the Luhansk region in 2014. The investigation claims that Savchenko had coordinated artillery fire that killed the Russians.
The prisoner denies all accusations. Her defense insists that she had been captured before the Russian journalists were killed. Furthermore, Savchenko claims she was smuggled into Russia by force.