war crimes in Ukraine

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Savchenko court bans photos on 27th day of hunger strike, rejects more defence evidence

Halya Coynash
Oleg Sentsov & Oleksandr Kolchenko have passed letters of support to Nadiya Savchenko, whose trial has resumed on Nadiya’s 27’th day on hunger strike. The court has reportedly refused to allow videos and photography in the courtroom, probably because of mounting concern about the 34-year-old former military pilot, now Ukrainian MP’s health.

   From the photo tweeted by lawyer Ilya Novikov

Crimean Political Prisoners Oleg Sentsov & Oleksandr Kolchenko have passed letters of greetings and support to Nadiya Savchenko, whose trial resumed in the Russian city of Donetsk on Jan 13, Nadiya’s 27’th day on hunger strike.  According to one of her lawyers, Ilya Novikov, the court has refused to allow videos and photography in the courtroom, probably because of mounting concern about the 34-year-old former military pilot, now Ukrainian MP’s health

Both letters, made public by Nadiya’s sister Vera, are brief but to the point.  Oleksandr Kolchenko writes in Ukrainian with New Year and Christmas Greetings.

“I wish you the earliest release from this enemy captivity and for the moment – as much strength and resilience as possible.  I am sure they can’t break you!.”  He signs off “until we meet in Ukraine”.

Oleg Sentsov greets ‘Nadyusha’ (a warm diminutive form) with the festive days that have already passed, and writes:

“I wish you just one thing – freedom and victory.  That may be two words but their meaning for us is one!.  

Take care!  I won’t try to persuade you to eat, you know what you’re doing, but I so don’t want you to suffer – they’re just not worth that!  Glory to Ukraine!”

Nadiya Savchenko declared hunger strike on Dec 17 in protest at the latest extension of her detention.  Her lawyer Nikolai Polozov has reported that she has lost 15 kilograms, and is experiencing pancreatic pain and nausea. 

The lawyers also report that the court has once again refused to add evidence to the case, this time proving that Savchenko was taken by force from Ukraine to Russia with the active involvement of Igor Plotnytsky, now leader of the so-called ‘Luhansk people’s republic’ and Russian investigators, including FSB colonel Sergei Pochechuyev (more details about the appearance in court, wig and all, here: Savchenko Trial turns into Insultingly Absurd Pantomime ).

It is an indicator of the political nature of this ‘trial’ that evidence of Savchenko’s alibi and material showing up the prosecution’s case, has been consistently rejected by Leonid Stepanenko, the presiding judge

Nadiya Savchenko was taken prisoner in the morning of June 17, 2014, several hours before Voloshin and journalist Igor Kornelyuk came under mortar fire while reporting from an area in the Luhansk oblast where there was heavy fighting.

She was captured by Kremlin-backed militants who even posted a video of her being interrogated.   It first became clear that she was in Russia when a court in the Voronezh oblast (nowhere near where the trial is now taking place) remanded her in custody.

For a long time the Russian investigators were silent about Savchenko’s abduction.  Then they claimed that she had escaped and inexplicably crossed the border into Russia.  The final version is that the militants themselves ‘released her’, after which she allegedly hurtled towards the Russian border, covering a huge distance in an hour and a half.

The investigators’ version is that she crossed the border illegally ‘pretending’ to be a refugee, and that she was stopped initially in a routine check of papers. The Investigative Committee responded with particular cynicism to the demand from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (which Savchenko is now a delegate of) by adding another charge of having ‘crossed the border illegally’. 

As mentioned the charges are now of murder and attempted murder.  The prosecution has failed to find the binoculars with which Savchenko is supposed to have seen the journalists 3 and a half kilometres away and the equipment with which she is alleged to have informed Ukrainian soldiers of their whereabouts.  And she has an alibi. 

Please write to Nadiya Savchenko, if possible, in Russian.  The address is: 

ПКУ СИЗО-3 346408 Ростовская обл. 

г. Новочеркасск,  ул Украинская д.1,   Савченко Надежде Викторовне 


   Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko are currently in a transit remand prison, and it is not known where they will be sent.   Sentsov has been sentenced to 20 years, Kolchenko – 10 for a totally non-existent ‘terrorist plot’

Please see and share the details about this politically motivated prosecution of four Crimean opponents of Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea

Oppose Russian Occupation of Crimea & Face 20 Years for ’Terrorism’

Please write to the men!

Oleg Sentsov

Сенцову Олегу Геннадиевичу, 1976 г.р.  post.rozuznik[at] 

Oleksandr Kolchenko

Кольченко Александру Олександровичу, 1989 г.р. post.rozuznik[at] 

Gennady Afanasyev

Афанасьеву Геннадию Сергеевичу, 1990 г.р. - 167028, Республика Коми, г. Сыктывкар, п. Верхний Чов, ИК-25

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