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Ukraine MP Nadezhda Savchenko says military coup is ‘anticipated event’

March 15, 19:02 UTC+3 KIEV

Earlier on Thursday, Verkhovna Rada deputy and member of the Interior Ministry’s board Anton Gerashchenko said Savchenko was suspected of co-plotting a coup in Ukraine

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Nadezhda Savchenko talks to journalists outside the offices of the Security Service of Ukraine

Nadezhda Savchenko talks to journalists outside the offices of the Security Service of Ukraine

© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, March 15. /TASS/. Parliamentarian Nadezhda Savchenko, who is suspected of co-plotting a coup in Ukraine, has said she does not rule out a military coup in the country.

"I know that a lot of military at the moment believe a military coup is a rather expected, and, maybe, a very correct development. Rank-and-file military agree with this thesis, not the command who are playing up to the authorities and killing their people," she said after being questioned at the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in the case of the chief of the so-called Center for Prisoner Release, Vladimir Ruban.

Earlier on Thursday, Verkhovna Rada deputy and member of the Interior Ministry’s board Anton Gerashchenko said Savchenko was suspected of co-plotting a coup in Ukraine. He said "she has been traveling to military units in the recent year, engaging in campaigning and subversive activity".

After that Savchenko held a briefing, during which she accused Speaker Andrei Parubiy and Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko of crimes during "Maidan" [the popular uprising in downtown Kiev in late 2014]. The prosecutor general, for his part, attended then a parliamentary session, where he officially accused her of plotting a terrorist attack at the parliament and then submitted a motion to strip Savchenko of deputy immunity to then arrest her.

Savchenko was summoned to the SBU under the case of Ruban, detained on March 8, 2018, as he was crossing the line of contact in Donbass with large amounts of weapons. On the following day, he was accused under three articles of the Criminal Code, including masterminding terrorist attacks and an attempt on the president’s life. The court arrested Ruban for two months. Savchenko said then that she was ready to go bail for him.

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.

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. In 2017 her new party Social and Political Platform of Nadya Savchenko was registered.

The former pilot Savchenko was 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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