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Former Ukrainian pilot Savchenko ended ‘dry’ hunger strike — lawyer

March 10, 2016, 12:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, on March 3, Nadezhda Savchenko declared ‘dry’ hunger strike, meaning that she refuses both food and water, to protest delay of decision in her case

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© Valery Matytsyn/TASS

MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. Former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, on trial in Russia over the killing of two Russian journalists, has ended ‘dry’ hunger strike, her lawyer told TASS on Thursday.

"At the request of Ukraine’s president, Nadezhda stopped ‘dry’ hunger strike and started taking food," Mark Feygin said.

On March 3, Savchenko declared ‘dry’ hunger strike, meaning that she refuses both food and water. The move came in protest as the court in southern Russia delayed the decision in her case.

Earlier in the day, police tightened security near a pretrial detention center in Novocherkassk, in the Rostov region, where Savchenko is held, her lawyer Nikolay Polozov told TASS.

Savchenko’s mother and sister are near the facility hoping to obtain permission to meet with her. Police have officially warned journalists and all those present against "extremism", he added.

The 34-year-old Ukrainian is charged with murder, attempted murder and illegal border crossing. The pronouncement of the verdict in the case will begin on March 21 and will take two days.

The trial of Savchenko began in southern Russia on September 22. Savchenko has been held in Russian custody for already a year and 8 months.

Russia’s investigators say Savchenko joined the Aidar militant battalion and in June 2014 conducted 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.

Two Russian journalists - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin - from the All-Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (VGTRK) died in the shelling.

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