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Ukrainian MP Savchenko renounces parliamentary immunity

February 21, 12:32 UTC+3 KIEV

Savchenko particularly urged the working group to consider her statement on giving up parliamentary immunity, citing Article 80 of the Ukrainian Constitution

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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Piotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, February 21. /TASS/. Nadezhda Savchenko, an unaffiliated member of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), has declared her intention to relinquish her parliamentary immunity.

"To fulfill my first promise, I hereby renounce my parliamentary immunity," Savchenko wrote on Facebook.

At the same time, she posted a statement proving her intention. The declaration says that Ukraine has already marked the third anniversary of the tragic "Maidan" events so it is high time politicians carried out their pledges made during the "Revolution of Dignity". Savchenko also called upon other parliament members, President Pyotr Poroshenko and judges to follow her example.

She has forwarded her statement to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada’s Committee for Regulations and Work Organization. Savchenko particularly urged the working group to consider her statement on giving up parliamentary immunity, citing Article 80 of the Ukrainian Constitution. She also requested to submit the statement to the parliament so that its members could discuss and support the document.

From hero of Ukraine to political pariah

Savchenko was elected MP in 2014, from Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna party list. However, in late October 2016, she resigned from the party. On December 15, 2016, the Batkivshchyna faction excluded Savchenko and a week later on December 22, the Rada excluded her from the Ukrainian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and after that, from the parliamentary Committee for National Security and Defense. Savchenko turned into an outcast after making several trips to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and holding talks with their leaders.

In Russia, Savchenko was found guilty of murdering Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin in Donbass as well as of illegally crossing the Russian border. On March 22, 2016, the Donetsk City Court in Russia’s south Rostov region sentenced her to 22 years in a penal colony. However, on May 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin, upon a request from the departed journalists’ families, signed a decree pardoning Savchenko. After that she was flown to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko awarded her with the Hero of Ukraine honorary title.

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