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Savchenko to deal with national security issues in Ukraine’s Rada

May 31, 16:35 UTC+3 KIEV
On May 31 Savchenko for the first time appeared at the parliament meeting and delivered a speach
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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, May 31. /TASS/. Ukraine’s former pilot and now member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Nadezhda Savchenko will take charge of national security issues in the parliament, Ivan Krulko - an MP from the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) faction said on Tuesday.

Savchenko was elected to the Rada from Batkivshchina.

"It has been decided that she will join the Verkhovna Rada National Security and Defense Committee", he said.

On Tuesday morning, Savchenko for the first time appeared at the parliament meeting where, as it was announced on Monday, she was to deliver a speech. However, the former military servicewoman decided to say just a few words of gratitude to those who contributed to her release and also urged not to forget those who died in Donbass. She ended her speech with singing of the national anthem.

After the meeting, Savchenko on the sidelines of the parliament accused her new colleagues of inactivity. "It seems to me that the deputies, as schoolchildren, are lazy and skimp work", she said.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian social media have rather ambiguously taken Savchenko’s first appearance in the parliament, especially her singing during which she has mixed up the anthem words.

"In contrast to the rather adequate news conference, her speech in the Rada with singing of the anthem has left a strange impression," wrote a user on 112 Ukraine TV channel website.

Another user commented that "Savchenko, of course, is a heroine, but there are also many people in the hall who fought in the ATO (anti-terrorist military operation in Donbass)."

"If they have not been killed or taken prisoner - it's not their fault," he wrote. "And if they have not been promoted by the whole country - it’s not their fault ... And there are also plenty of women-deputies there who have done a lot in combat conditions. Shall we measure who has done more? Invent a "patriotometer?"

On March 22, 2016, the Donetsk City Court in Russia’s southern Rostov region found Savchenko guilty of directing the pro-Kiev forces’ artillery fire in southeast Ukraine that had killed two Russian journalists - Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. Savchenko was also found guilty of illegally crossing the Russian border and was sentenced to 22 years in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($440).

On May 25, the Russian president signed a decree to pardon the former Ukrainian serviceman Nadezhda Savchenko, who had been in custody in Russia for the past two years. Savchenko was handed over to the Ukrainian side in exchange for the two Russians, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who were convicted in Ukraine. The former pilot was taken to Kiev onboard the Ukrainian presidential plane the same day.

At her first news conference after returning home Savchenko said that she did not rule out the possibility of becoming head of Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchina party in place and was even ready to become Ukraine’s president "if the people want it."

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