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Ukrainian ex-lawmaker Savchenko says unable to find job due to criminal record

Savchenko said she wanted 'a job offering less human contact and more physical work'
Nadezhda Savchenko Pyotr Sivkov/TASS
Nadezhda Savchenko
© Pyotr Sivkov/TASS

KIEV, September 10. /TASS/. Nadezhda Savchenko, a former lawmaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, told the NewsOne TV channel on Monday she has so far been unable to find a job due to her previous convictions.

"I don’t think that every employer would be eager to give work to Nadezhda Savchenko. That’s why I narrowed down my search to a job offering less human contact and more physical work. This is what I want for myself," she said.

Savchenko, a former Ukrainian Air Force pilot, said she would try to pass a medical examination for pilots, but was pessimistic about the possibility of entering service with the Ukrainian armed forces again.

"Given my criminal record, who at the Ukrainian armed forces will agree to employ me again? Who will put a plane - a plane with a bomb - into my hands?" she said, joking bitterly. "Joking aside, a pilot should be in proper health, and mine was ruined by detention. I don’t know if I will be able to pass the medical examination for a pilot, but at least I will try to do that."

Last year, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office charged Savchenko and head of the Officer Corps organization Vladimir Ruban with an attempted coup d’etat in the country, an attempted terror attack and arms trafficking. According to investigators, she and Ruban plotted terror attacks in the parliament’s building and the government quarters. On March 22, 2018, Verkhovna Rada stripped Savchenko of parliamentary immunity and issued an arrest warrant for her, after which she was taken into custody. Her pre-trial restriction was repeatedly extended.

On April 16, 2019, Savchenko and Ruban were released from custody in the courtroom. The court made this decision as the earlier established arrest term had expired and a new one had not been set.

During the Ukrainian parliamentary elections this summer, Savchenko ran in a single-seat district in the Donetsk Region, but was unable to secure a seat getting only eight votes in her support.

Before the beginning of her political career in Ukraine, Savchenko, a former Ukrainian military pilot who had taken an active part in Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine, was detained in Russia in June 2014. She had been sentenced to 22 years in jail over complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in east Ukraine.

She spent nearly two years in the Russian custody and was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 25, 2016. Upon her return to Kiev, Savchenko began an active political career as a member of the Ukrainian parliament.