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Ukraine initiates criminal proceedings against Russian investigators — official

July 30, 2015, 21:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee said Ukraine "is going down the drain"
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Spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin

Spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin

© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

MOSCOW, July 30 /TASS/. The initiation of criminal proceedings against Russian investigators in Ukraine shows that the country is going down the drain, Vladimir Markin, a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee, said on Thursday.

"There is nothing unusual in the actions of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. They are a reflection of the authorities of a country that is going down the drain," Markin said in a comment on Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office decision to prosecute seven members of the Russian Investigative Committee and the Russian court for violations in handling the case of Nadezhda Savchenko, the former Ukraine army officer who is currently pending trial in Russia’s southern Rostov region.

Savchenko is being accused of involvement in the murder of two Russian journalists in Ukraine's eastern Lugansk Region last summer, as well as illegal crossing of the border with Russia. If found guilty, she may face up to 25 years in prison. The former pilot does not admit her guilt.

"When helpless peaceful civilians are burnt alive in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, when embassies are being stormed and journalists and clergymen killed and when calls to murder and incitement of inter-ethnic hatred are being encouraged in the eyes of the whole world, and all this goes with impunity - then there is nothing to be surprised at," Markin went on to say.

"Instead of investigating all the mayhem which has been under way in Ukraine, they have raised a person /Nadezhda Savchenko/ responsible for the death of Russian nationals to the rank of hero," the Russian Investigative Committee’s spokesperson said.

"All this is the result of the atmosphere of hatred and Russophobia, which the ‘revolution of dignity’ has brought with it. They are the well-deserved followers of Stepan Bandera!" Markin stressed.

The Donetsk city court in Russia’s Rostov region held preliminary hearings on Savchenko’s case earlier on Thursday. However, it agreed to demands of Savchenko’s lawyers to hand over the case to the Rostov regional court.

Savchenko’s lawyer Mark Feigin said that he did not know when the Rostov regional court would set the date for the trial. "I did not see any desire in the Donetsk city court (in Russia’s Rostov region) to consider this case, which is very high profile. We do not know when the Rostov regional court will set the date of trial," Feigin said.

According to investigators, Savchenko secretly adjusted fire on a militia roadblock in the outskirts of Metallist village during combat operations near the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk (the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic) on June 17, 2014. As a result civilians and two Russian journalists (from VGTRK) - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin - were killed.

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