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Russian official calls US statement on pressure over ex-Ukrainian pilot case 'laughable'

September 02, 2015, 16:45 UTC+3
"How are they planning to do that? Will they send a special task force or will they blackmail the court? That’s laughable!" Markin said
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© TASS/Vyacheslav Prokofiev

MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin has described as "laughable" a statement of the US envoy to the UN on the plan to exert pressure on Moscow to release former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.

"How are they planning to do that? Will they send a special task force or will they blackmail the court? That’s laughable!" Markin said.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced on Tuesday that the State Department will continue exerting pressure on the governments so that 20 women deemed by Washington as "political prisoners" be freed.

Savchenko, who has been in the Russian custody for over a year, is on the list of the #FreeThe20 campaign designed to secure the release of 20 female prisoners all over the world.

Russian investigators say that Savchenko, the gunner of a Mi-24 helicopter, joined the notorious Aidar battalion during combat operations in the much-troubled Lugansk region of Ukraine in June 2014.

Upon noting the position of a filming crew of the Russian State Broadcasting Company and other civilians, the 33-year-old allegedly reported the data to mortar-equipped personnel who opened fire on the crew and the civilians. As a result, correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin were killed.

The former pilot does not admit her guilt. The Savchenko case is currently being considered by a court in the town of Donetsk, south Russia’s Rostov Region.

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