Freed pilot Savchenko new Ukrainian lawmaker

Kiev, May 31 (IANS) Ukraine’s former military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who was freed after two years in Russian prison and is now member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, was given the charge of national security issues, a member of parliament said on Tuesday.

Ivan Krulko, an MP from the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) faction, said Savchenko was elected to the Rada from Batkivshchina, Tass news reported.

“She will join the Verkhovna Rada National Security and Defense Committee,” he said.

Savchenko on Tuesday appeared at the parliament meeting.

The former military servicewoman said a few words of gratitude to those who contributed to her release and urged not to forget those who died in Donbass.

Savchenko on the sidelines of parliament accused her new colleagues of inactivity.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian social media have rather ambiguously taken Savchenko’s first appearance in parliament, especially her singing during which she mixed up the anthem words.

On March 22, 2016, a court in Russia’s southern Rostov region found Savchenko guilty of directing the pro-Kiev forces’ artillery fire in southeast Ukraine that had killed two Russian journalists.

Savchenko illegally crossed the Russian border and was sentenced to 22 years in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 30,000 rubles ($440).

On May 25, the Russian president signed a decree to pardon the former Ukrainian servicewoman, who had been in custody in Russia for the past two years.

Savchenko was handed over to the Ukrainian side in exchange for two Russians, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, who were convicted in Ukraine.

The former pilot was taken to Kiev onboard the Ukrainian presidential plane the same day.

–IANS

py/vt

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