16:03 Jul. 7, 2016
Ukrainian pilot N. Savchenko came to Warsaw ahead of NATO summit
Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian pilot who was recently released by Russia after spending two years behind bars, on Thursday thanked her Polish friends for their support in the lower chamber of Poland's parliament.
Savchenko came to Warsaw invited by Poles who contributed to her release and who wrote letters to her while she was imprisoned. She said: "I came to Poland to thank them, to understand the situation better. I want to say to all of my Polish friends: thank you for your support."
Savchenko was officially welcomed by the Speaker of the lower chamber, Marek Kuchciński, who said: "We are glad that you are free." She was given a round of applause by Polish MPs and stayed to watch parliamentary proceedings.
Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in jail after she was found guilty in March on charges connected with the deaths of two Russian journalists. She was accused of directing artillery fire in an operation in eastern Ukraine, as a result of which the journalists died.
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Savchenko denied the charges against her, and her lawyer insisted she had been kidnapped by pro-Russian rebels prior to the deaths of the journalists. Shortly before her release, Savchenko received a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said his decision came after a request from the families of the two Russian journalists.