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Ukraine’s Savchenko expelled from Rada security, defense committee

January 18, 22:12 UTC+3 KIEV

Savchenko told Wednesday’s hearings of the committee she did not recognize any guilt on her part

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KIEV, January 18. /TASS/. Security and defense committee of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has expelled the flamboyant deputy Nadiya (Nadezhda) Savchenko for releasing a list of Ukrainian POWs currently kept in the part of Donbass uncontrolled by the Kiev government.

Savchenko told Wednesday’s hearings of the committee she did not recognize any guilt on her part.

"I didn’t break law and I know how to keep state secrets," she said, adding she would continue to attend committee meetings even without its formal membership.

In a simultaneous move, committee members decided to file a query with the Prosecutor General’s Office asking it to give legal assessment to Savchenko’s action.

Somewhat earlier, Savchenko published a list of POWs, whose release Kiev hoped to secure, and she amended it later on. The majority of Ukrainian politicians levelled sharp criticisms at her while the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claimed she had violated legislation by publishing the POWs’ personal data without consent on their part of their families.

Nadezhda Savchenko, one of the most colorful personalities in the Ukrainian political scene today, was accused in Russia of involvement in the killing of Russian televisions reporters Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin in much-troubled eastern Ukraine in the summer of 2014 and an illegal crossing of the Ukrainian.

On March 22, 2016, a court in Russia’s southern Rostov region sentenced her to 22 years in a general penal colony. On May 25, President Vladimir Putin answered a request from the reporters’ relatives and signed a decree on pardoning her, after which she took a flight from Russia to Kiev.

During Savchenko’s stay in a pretrial ward and in a penitentiary in Russia, Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party led by former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko propelled her to the Rada on its party ticket and made her a representative of the Rada in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe afterwards.

At the end of last October, Savchenko tendered a request for quitting the party and was dismissed from it on December 15. On December 22, the Rada also crossed her out of the list of members of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE.

Savchenko fell into disfavor with Ukraine’s ruling milieus after her trips to the self-proclaimed unrecognized Donetsk and Lugansk republics where she made public the new civil platform called the Runa.

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