MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The rumors about some secret negotiations on the exchange of former Ukrainian military Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been convicted in Russia, do not correspond to reality, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"Russia's position on the future of Nadezhda Savchenko on whom a court judgement has been passed has been clearly stated by the Russian leadership and all the competent authorities," the source said. "The recently started debate on her swap options and the allegedly held secret negotiations, some ‘shadow play’ is a blatant lie the main objective of which is to keep afloat the information campaign over this case."
A Russian court found former Ukrainian pilot Savchenko guilty of the murder of two Russian journalists in Ukraine’s Lugansk Region in 2014, an attempt to kill civilians as well as border violation.
According to investigators, during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on June 17, 2014, Savchenko, who was an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, from the location of the Aidar battalion - a paramilitary group of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry - in the vicinity of the village of Metallist secretly adjusted artillery fire on a section of the Lugansk People’s Republic militia's roadblock with civilians, including three Russian journalists.
As a result, VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin were killed.
Savchenko has not admitted her guilt, saying she had never killed unarmed people. However, she said she would not appeal the verdict.
The Donetsk city court of the Rostov Region on March 22 sentenced Savchenko to 22 years in a penal colony and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($450).