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Russian rights chief says Ukraine aviator recovers from hunger strike with difficulty

March 06, 2015, 15:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Nadezhda Savchenko went on hunger strike in December to protest her arrest on accusation of involvement in an attack that killed two Russian journalists on eastern Ukraine
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

MOSCOW, 6 March. /TASS/. Ukrainian aviator Nadezhda Savchenko, jailed on charges of aiding the killing of two Russian journalists in east Ukraine last year, is recovering with great difficulty from her 83-day hunger strike, the Kremlin's human rights adviser said on Friday.

Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the presidential Civil Society and Human Rights Council, told TASS: "She has great difficulty in recovering from the hunger strike. She is taking chicken broth and special medical nutritional supplements delivered to the prison by our council member Yelizaveta Glinka."

Fedotov, who visited Savchenko in jail on Friday, said it was impossible to end a hunger strike at once. "Savchenko has no complaints against prison doctors or administration. German physicians suggested that they take her to a civil hospital but she wrote a refusal notice," he said.

Nadezhda Savchenko case

The 33-year-old Ukrainian military flyer has been charged with involvement in an attack that killed two Russian journalists on eastern Ukraine's frontlines, where she enlisted as a volunteer in one of the battalions fighting against local militias.

Russian investigators say that Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the notorious Aidar battalion during combat operations in the much-troubled Luhansk region of Ukraine last June.

Noting the position of a filming crew of the Russian State Broadcasting Company and other civilians, she allegedly reported the data to mortar-equipped personnel who fired on the crew and the civilians. As a result, correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed.

Savchenko went on hunger strike in December to protest her arrest. Her lawyers said in mid-February that she was also refusing glucose, taking only drinking water. On Thursday, the Ukrainian agreed to drink chicken broth following doctors’ recommendations. But the prison service said she had not given up continuing her hunger strike.

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