: RFE/RL: Ukraine's new hope

15:13 May. 26, 2016

RFE/RL: Ukraine's new hope

Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko (L) joins Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to address the media at the Presidential Administration building. (Getty Images)

After release Ukrainian pilot is to join Rada's National Security and Defense Committee  

So after holding her in captivity for 708 days, the Kremlin has finally released its most famous hostage.

Read also Savchenko to join Rada's National Security and Defense Committee – MP

And as a result, Ukraine might have gained something it has long lacked -- and badly needs: a political figure with clear and unambiguous moral authority; someone unsullied by the past and uncompromised by the corruption of the current elite; someone who took herself to the brink of death for the sake of Ukraine and who flipped the bird at Vladimir Putin's kangaroo court.

Nadia Sacvhenko could -- and I stress could -- just turn out to be Ukraine's Vaclav Havel; or its Lech Walesa; or its Nelson Mandela.

She returns home a hero at a time when Ukrainians are deeply disillusioned with their post-Euromaidan leaders, frustrated by the slow pace of reform, and angry about the persistent stalling in the battle against corruption.

Ukraine's vibrant civil society has long been light years ahead of its political class -- even its pro-Western political class -- something that has become increasingly visible over the past two years. 

As somebody who has suffered and persevered for the sake of their goals, Savchenko could now become a powerful lodestone for Ukraine's frustrated reformers.

Read also Releasing Savchenko is no indulgence for Russia - MEP Rebecca Harms

She will also pose a moral challenge to the political elite -- from President Petro Poroshenko on down -- to live up to the promise of the Euromaidan revolution.

And she has a platform.

Full story

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