Ukrainian Member of Parliament Nadiia Savchenko, who is suspected of plotting terrorist attacks and seizing state power, says she is ready to serve 22 years in Russian prisons in exchange for 60 Kremlin hostages from Ukraine.
"As for me, I understand what could be my fate in Russia. If 60 Ukrainian captives and Crimean Tatars who are being held in Russian prisons are swapped for me, I will agree to serve 22 years in a Russian prison," TV Channel 112 Ukraine quoted Savchenko as saying at a court hearing on May 15.
The MP also said the only weapon she has is a Glock 17 award pistol given to her by Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy.
"Regarding weapons, Andriy Parubiy handed me the only weapon I possess. It is stored in the licensing department, since it was confiscated during the search. This is a Glock 17 pistol, which Parubiy presented me. Nobody gave me or transferred any other weapons. Any other speculations or fantasies will be revealed at court hearings on the merits," Savchenko added.
As UNIAN reported, the Verkhovna Rada on March 22 green-lighted the arrest of MP Nadiia Savchenko, a former Ukrainian pilot released from a Russian prison as part of a prisoner-of-war exchange. Ukraine's prosecutors charged Savchenko with plotting a coup and an act of terror in Ukraine, following an elaborate sting operation by SBU Security Service agents, who initially targeted former hostage swap negotiator Volodymyr Ruban.
The latter is believed to have conspired with Savchenko. Savchenko is suspected of committing crimes under Part 1 of Article 109 (actions aimed at the forcible change or overthrow of the constitutional order or seizure of state power); Part 1 of Article 14 (preparations for a crime), Part 2 of Article 28 (committing a crime by a group of persons, a group of persons by prior agreement, an organized group or a criminal organization), Article 112 (an attempted attack on the life of a public figure), Part 3 of Article 258 (an act of terror); Part 1 of Article 258-3 (creation of a terrorist group or organization) and Part 1 of Article 263 (illegal possession of weapons, ammunition or explosives) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On March 23, Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district court ruled that Savchenko be remanded in custody for 59 days without bail.
She announced in the courtroom she would go on hunger strike, denying plans to flee Ukraine.
On March 29, Kyiv's Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the first instance court to keep Savchenko behind bars for a period of 59 days until May 20.
It became known on May 11 that Savchenko's two lawyers – Oleh Soloviy and Dmytro Buhai – had refused to work for her.