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Russian senator slams stripping Ukrainian MP of immunity as ‘silly step’

March 22, 17:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the senator, the current situation with Savchenko "shows that this entire Maidan revolution was in fact a tool of seizing power for a very small group of people"

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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. The Ukrainian parliament’s move to strip defiant MP Nadezhda Savchenko of immunity and give a green light to arrest her is a "silly step," Russian senator Alexey Pushkov said.

"They are now turning their ‘national hero’ into a national martyr. It seems to me this is very silly," Pushkov, who heads the Russian Federation Council’s Commission for Information Policy and Mass Media Relations, told TASS.

The senator recalled that some time ago Ukraine’s authorities had included Savchenko in the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and called her their "national heritage," and now they bring accusations which no one in the West would trust.

"Just for criticizing the Ukrainian authorities, well in a very tough and severe way, she is slapped with accusations of planning to destroy the Verkhovna Rada’s dome with mortars and finish off the remaining MPs with rifles. But no serious Western politician would trust this nonsense," the senator said.

According to Pushkov, the current situation with Savchenko "shows that this entire Maidan revolution was in fact a tool of seizing power for a very small group of people who now seek to keep it by any means."

Earlier on Thursday, Savchenko was detained in Kiev after Ukrainian MPs had voted for prosecuting and putting her in police custody. Savchenko is suspected of "colluding to change the constitutional system by force, plotting an attempt on the life of the Ukrainian president, conspiring to carry out a terror attack, assisting the activities of the terrorist organization, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), carrying, acquiring and transferring firearms."

The former pilot Savchenko had been sentenced in Russia to 22 years in jail over complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine. She spent nearly two years in Russian custody and was pardoned by the Russian president on May 25, 2016.

Savchenko was a member of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" or Batkivshchyna party and was elected to the parliament on its party list in 2014 while in Russian custody. However, in late October 2016, she wrote a statement on leaving the party and was excluded from it in mid-December.

The lawmaker was also expelled from Ukraine’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and later from the Parliamentary Committee for National Defense and Security.

Savchenko fell into disfavor of Ukraine’s authorities after her private trips to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine and talks with their leadership.

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