Czech politicians express solidarity with imprisoned Ukrainian pilot
A number of Czech politicians have expressed support for Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot on trial in Russia for allegedly helping to cause the deaths of two Russian journalists in 2014. Savchenko is currently on hunger strike, and refusing to accept any verdict handed down by what she has described as a “totalitarian regime and a petty tyrant-dictator”.
Nadiya Savchenko, 34, has reportedly been refusing both food and water since March 3. Russian authorities claim that on June 17 she caused the deaths of two Russian state TV journalists, Anton Voloshin and Igor Korneliuk, during fighting near the Ukrainian town of Luhansk. But the defence insists the men were struck by artillery shelling hours after Savchenko was captured. She is also accused of illegally crossing the Russian border disguised as a refugee.
Political leaders from across the democratic word have been expressing solidarity with Savchenko. In a statement released on Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden described the soldier as “proudly serving her country” before she was “unjustly imprisoned”.
Also on Tuesday opposition TOP 09 party leader Miroslav Kalousek sought to bring up the case of Nadiya Savchenko in the Czech parliament, but was thwarted by a communist party procedural objection. In a later press briefing, Kalousek expressed fury at his communist colleagues:
Kalousek also described Savchenko as a soldier doing nothing more than defending her country on the soil of her country.
Responding to claims of willful obstruction, communist deputies' group chairman Pavel Kováčik said his party did not want to partake in a knee-jerk reaction to an apparently “media-fuelled” campaign.