Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadiya Viktorivna Savchenko will make her final address in the Russian court over killing two Russian journalist.
Russian public broadcaster VGTRK Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed in shelling on June 17, 2014, in Ukraine’s Lugansk region. The helicopter pilot was charged over directing artillery fire from a Ukrainian volunteer battalion at the journalists. She was captured by the Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and was handed over to Russian officials.
On Wednesday, Russia’s state prosecutor called for a 23-year prison sentence for Savchenko. The prosector has also demanded to impose a fine of 100,000 rubles ($1,350/1,250 euros).
Following the trail, she is expected to appear in her last address in court on Thursday.
Prosecutors said she was involved in the killing of the journalists. While Savchenko blamed the Russian authorities and the broadcaster company for their deaths.
“If they wore helmets and flak jackets, they would have remained alive,” she said in a report by Yahoo News.
Moreover, she threatened the authorities to go on hunger strike if the court needed two more weeks to announce her verdict.
“You would deliver the verdict posthumously, without me. You have not broken me and will never break me.” she told Russian court emotionally.
While in the custody, she was elected to the parliament of Ukraine. She went on a 80-day hunger strike and broke it off in March, 2015.
According to a BBC report, Russia said that Savchenko crossed the Russia’s border illegally before she was arrested.
But, Ukraine officials hold Russia responsible for kidnapping the pilot. Last year, six Russian officials were suspected for their involvement in Savchenko’s detention, says Ukraine prosecutor’s office.
Ukrainian compatriots see her as a symbol of resistance. They consider it an “insurgency” by Russian government.
It indicates that Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian rebels are far away to resolve the conflict between them, even after signing a peace deal.