16:42 09.07.2014

Poroshenko instructs Prosecutor General's Office, Foreign Ministry to look into female pilot's detention by Russia

2 min read
Poroshenko instructs Prosecutor General's Office, Foreign Ministry to look into female pilot's detention by Russia

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the Prosecutor General's Office and the Foreign Ministry to look into military pilot Nadia Savchenko's detention by Russian investigative agencies on charges of involvement in the killing of Russian journalists in the eastern part of Ukraine.

"The president has just issued instructions to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Foreign Ministry to look into the situation surrounding Nadia Savchenko," presidential spokesman Andriy Zhyhulin said at a news conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Deputy presidential chief of staff Valeriy Chaly said the authorities were taking measures to secure the pilot's speedy release.

"In fact, the matter implies that our citizen has been abducted from Ukrainian territory and is being held abroad. This is an absolutely unacceptable situation," Chaly said, pointing out that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has sent a relevant note to Russia.

"This is not the only such case, but it is a high profile one. I cannot disclose all aspects as to how the president of Ukraine can affect the situation, […] but these issues concerning each person are under the president's and the relevant Ukrainian government bodies' control," Chaly said.

Asked whether Ukrainians being held in Russia could be swapped for Russian citizens detained in Ukraine, Chaly said, "Our special bodies are working on various options, and making them public could often be detrimental to particular situations."

Kyiv has a list of all people who have been detained and is working to secure their release, he said.

Savchenko, a 31-year-old navigator, served with the Ukrainian peacekeeping force in Iraq, after which she graduated from the Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv Air Force University in 2009.

She was fighting with the Aidar volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine when she was captured in June near the town of Schastia, a suburb of Luhansk.

It was reported on Wednesday that Savchenko is being held at a detention facility in Voronezh and has been indicted for complicity in murder. "Investigative bodies have indicted Savchenko for complicity in the killing of VGTRK journalists outside Luhansk," a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee said.

The Investigative Committee claims that Savchenko was detained in Russia after crossing the border without documents under the guise of a refugee.

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