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Russian diplomat calls hunger strike of European MPs in support of Savchenko 'hypocrisy'

February 20, 13:30 UTC+3
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, if they believe in former Ukrainian pilot’s innocence, it will be logical to promote investigation and search for those guilty instead
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Nadezhda Savchenko (background)

Nadezhda Savchenko (background)

© Valeriy Matytsin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. If European MPs believe in former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko’s innocence, it will be logical not to go on a hunger strike but instead to promote investigation and search for those who killed Russian journalists, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday.

"MPs from 22 member countries of the Council of Europe plan to go on a hunger strike to support Nadezhda Savchenko arrested on suspicion of complicity in the murder of Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page. "What an outrageous hypocrisy! At first they illegally elected Nadezhda Savchenko as a deputy in absentia, included her in the delegation, and then they staged a political farce that turned into a performance of a hunger strike," she added.

Several media reporterd earlier that 22 MPs from member countries of the Council of Europe went on a hunger strike on February 15 to support Savchenko. The hunger strike will continue until February 29. MP from the Czech Republic Christina Zelenkova was the organizer of the protest.

Former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko is charged with complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists in east Ukraine last summer. She also stands charged with attempted murder of civilians who could suffer as a result of artillery fire and illegally crossing the Russian border.

Russian investigators say Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the Aidar militant battalion and in June of 2014 was conducting covert surveillance and direction of artillery bombarding targeting a checkpoint in the much-troubled Lugansk region. The settlement was full of civilians, including three Russian journalists.

As a result, two Russian journalists - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin - fr the All-Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (VGTRK) died in the shelling.

If found guilty, Savchenko faces up to 25 years in prison.

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