war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Investigators claim they questioned 108 thousand people over Savchenko case

Halya Coynash
According to Russia’s investigators, Savchenko was released by the Kremlin-backed militants and that she sped to the Russian border in order to cross it illegally. Sped here is the operative word since she is alleged to have covered many kilometres in just one and a half hours.

Nadiya Savchenko was, the investigators now admit, captured in Ukraine by Kremlin-backed militants.  They claim, however, that the militants released her and she promptly sped, not back to areas under Kyiv’s control, but to the Russian border in order to cross it illegally.  Sped here is the operative word since she is alleged to have covered up to 75 kilometres in just one and a half hours. 

This is the investigators’ gem in full:

“Immediately after the military encounter Savchenko was captured by insurgents of the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic, after which she was released and between 15.30 and 17.00 on 23.06.2014, in violation of the established procedure for entry to the Russian Federation, she illegally crossed the State border of the Russian Federation”.

According to Mark Feygin, one of Savchenko’s lawyers, the investigators had previously claimed that Savchenko escaped.  Maybe the new information came from the extra eighty nine thousand people they must have questioned over the last two months since previously they had been much more modest about their investigative achievements, reporting only 19 thousand interrogations

All of this nonsense is fully available to the judges of the Basmanny Court, as is evidence demonstrating that Savchenko was already captured when she is alleged to have climbed a telephone tower to report the whereabouts of two Russian journalists.  The court must also have been aware of the considerable number of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] and European Parliament resolutions and statements from western governments calling for the release of the Ukrainian MP and PACE delegate, the latest being Wednesday’s call for her immediate release from the US State Department.  

Presiding judge Artur Karpov was entirely undeterred by all of the above, as well as a document from PACE confirming that Nadiya Savchenko holds diplomatic immunity. 

He first rejected the appeal lodged against the refusal to allow Nadiya Savchenko to attend the last PACE session in Strasbourg.  Like many other appeals, the hearing on this one was delayed until after the session was over, making the hearing of symbolic importance only, and the outcome unfortunately predictable.

Nadiya Savchenko, who was looking pale and gaunt, complained at this point of heart pain.  Despite her seriously weakened condition after months on partial or full hunger strike, the judges apparently did not hurry to call for an ambulance.

Savchenko was later returned to the court where her detention was again extended, this time until June 30.   Her lawyers had reported on Tuesday that the Investigative Committee were trying to have her detention extended for 6 months, however if this was the case, then somebody appears to have reminded them of basic principles of criminal procedure. 

The Investigative Committee has certainly given no indication of either knowing or caring about Nadiya Savchenko’s right to a fair trial, and the indictment* demonstrates how little concerned they are to even sound credible.



PLEASE send her birthday greetings.  If at all possible, write in Russian.  If not, then English is the most likely to pass by the prison censors.

ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Москве,

107076, г.Москва,  

ул. Матросская тишина д 18,

Савченко Надежде Викторовне. 



*   As well as seriously charging the former military pilot captured by the Kremlin-backed militants on June 17 and taken in handcuffs and with a bag over her head to Russia with illegally crossing the border, the investigators are also accusing her of abetting the killing in a publicly hazardous manner of two or more people out of political hatred, as an act committed by a group and of attempting, as part of a group, to kill two or more people out of the same political hatred.  All of the latter are under Article 105 and carry sentences of up to life imprisonment (more details here).

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