Savchenko speaks up against swap for GRU officers, threatens her sentence to be "posthumous"

21:40, 02 March 2016
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Ukrainian female pilot Nadia Savchenko said she could start a hunger strike on March 3, stressing that she  opposes her exchange for the Russian military intelligence officers Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov detained in Donbas, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Russia reporting from the courtroom in Donetsk, Rostov region.


"If the court takes more than two weeks to come up with a sentence, which has already been dictated from above, and has long been drafted, I am announcing a dry hunger strike starting tomorrow, and you will be issuing a sentence posthumously, without me," Savchenko said during her last plea in court.

She stressed that she sees no need in waiting for some kind of exchange.

Savchenko said that if Russia wants to swap the two guilty GRU [military intel] officers for "the innocent one, then it is too much."

According to her, the Russian officers should be exchanged for Oleh Sentsov Oleksandr Kolchenko.

Read alsoSavchenko speech in court: "This trial proves guilt of Russian journalists""I'm not an object for bargaining. I'm an innocent person. My guilt is not proven... No exchanges, no trading. In case of delays, I'm not going to wait," she said.

She appealed to the court with a demand to satisfy the prosecutors’ call for a 23-year sentence, so that they had no possibility to appeal the verdict and thus delay the process again.

"You have proven that you are worth nothing, you have shown how Russia can be dishonored by the example of one person. You have not broken me, and you never will. So let's get over with it as soon as possible. I won’t wait. You were not the ones to give life to me, and you are not the owners of my destiny," said Savchenko.

Read alsoRussian prosecutor demands 23-year prison term for SavchenkoAs UNIAN reported earlier, Russia accuses Savchenko of the murder of two Russian journalists, as well as the illegal crossing of the Russian border. Savchenko and her defense have denied accusations claiming that at the time of the death of the Russian journalists, she has already been captured by the militants, who then forcibly moved her to Russia.

In mid-December of last year, the Russian court extended Savchenko’s arrest until April 16. After that, she held a hunger strike in protest, the third one since her arrest in the summer of 2014.

Today, on March 2, the Russian state prosecution demanded the court to sentence Savchenko to 23 years in a penal colony.

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