Nadiya Savchenko's mother is in Rostov-on-Don, sister organizing celebrations in Kyiv
On May 11, the kidnapped Ukrainian pilot and MP, who is illegally imprisoned and held in Russia, is marking her 35th birthday. This is already the second birthday Nadiya Savchenko celebrates behind bars, in the Russian prison.
Mariya Savchenko, Nadiya's mother, has already arrived in Russia's Rostov, and is hoping that prison authorities will allow her to see her daughter.
Savchenko's lawyers Mark Feygin and Nikolai Polozov are also in Rostov to greet the Ukrainian national heroine and give her all the birthday cards sent by people from around the world.
Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko wished a happy birthday to Nadiya on Facebook:
"My cordial greetings to our Nadiya – the symbol of faith in our victory over the aggressor," Poroshenko wrote, adding that he is making everything possible to welcome the Ukrainian national heroine home, on her native soil.
Meanwhile, Vira Savchenko is organizing a campaign to celebrate her sister's birthday in central Kyiv. Vira says it is dangerous for her to go to Russia following the recent attempts to get her arrested. So she is inviting all the Ukrainians to join her at Poshtova Square at 8 p.m. Kyiv time to send hundreds of flying lanterns into the sky. Vira says they will illuminate the way back home for her sister.
Ukrainian activists invite everyone to join the #FreeSavchenko campaign on social media.
Lots of people, including leaders of various states are sending their birthday greetings to one the most famous political prisoner in the world.
On March 22 Nadiya Savchenko was sentenced by a Russian court to spend 22 years in prison for being involved in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the Donbas warzone in 2014 and for illegally crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border.