10:24 Mar. 21, 2016
Ukraine Today delves into the Ukrainian pilot's most memorable statements
This may be the most remarkable case to navigate Russia's legal system. 34-year-old Ukrainian fighter pilot Nadiya Savchenko has been detained by Moscow for nearly twenty months for the alleged involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists.
Since that time she was elected into the Ukrainian parliament and made a permanent member of the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Many world leaders as well as high ranking officials have called on Russia to release her. In Ukraine and by many Russians she is seen as a symbol of resistance to Russian President Putin's regime.
Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian fighter pilot: "I have found out that I have lots of friends in Russia. I'm in Russia for the first time and am in jail. I've barely ever spoken to Russian people. But now I get letters from you and I understand that you understand, and you have your own opinions and you feel for yourself what's right and wrong. And you don't see us as your enemy. And I don't consider you our enemy either."
Savchenko says she was smuggled into Russia by militant forces an hour before the journalists were killed. Many U.S. and E.U. politicians have called the trial a sham.
Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian fighter pilot: "The Russian investigative committee has made a huge mistake by kidnapping me and brining me here. Because of that they now have many problems and if I die in Russia they will choke on my bones. It's high time to find a way out of the situation and come up with a responsible decision. It's time to end this circus. "
Whilst in Russian court Nadiya, which translates into hope from Ukrainian, has been outspoken, defiant, and strong. She has been on several hunger strikes, one of which lasted for more than 30 days.
In the last hearings of her trial Savchenko vowed to begin another hunger strike promising to come back to Ukraine either ‘dead or alive'. She ended with a characteristically bold final statement.
Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian fighter pilot: " You can't put everyone behind bars. There will be a Maidan in Russia. Putin will not be able to keep his power on the blood of the people. All I can do is show by example that by being fearless and strong the Russian state and its totalitarian regime can be whipped into submission. And now do you want my final statement? This is my final statement! Can you see it?"