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Ukraine’s Savchenko creates her political party

April 13, 16:58 UTC+3 KIEV

The new party is called the Public and Social Platform of Nadezhda Savchenko

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Nadezhda Savchenko

Nadezhda Savchenko

© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

KIEV, April 13. /TASS/. MP of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, Nadezhda Savchenko has created a new political party, the Public and Social Platform of Nadezhda Savchenko.

"The meeting, during which the decision was made, took place today at the Kozatsky hotel on the Maidan (Independence Square). Savchenko was chosen as the party’s head also at the meeting," the Strana.ua online newspaper reported.

Savchenko was a member of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" or Batkivshchyna party and was elected to the parliament on its party list in 2014 while in Russian custody. However, in late October 2016, she wrote a statement on leaving the party and was excluded from it in mid-December.

The lawmaker was also expelled from Ukraine’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and later from the Parliamentary Committee for National Defense and Security.

Savchenko fell into disfavor of Ukraine’s authorities after her private trips to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine and talks with their leadership.

However, the lawmaker refused to give up her political career and announced the creation of a new civic platform Runa (movement of Ukrainian people) in late December 2016. Savchenko insisted that Runa is not a political project and a party is the thing of the past. "We will have it when this is needed," she said.

The tool of changing Ukraine’s political system is "the true Ukrainian elite not linked to oligarchs," the supporters of the movement say. However, on February 7, Runa announced that it would not cooperate with Savchenko over some differences.

The former pilot Savchenko had been sentenced in Russia to 22 years in jail over complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine. She spent nearly two years in Russian custody and was pardoned by the Russian president on May 25, 2016.

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