Ukrainian Nadezhda Savchenko jailed

A court has recognized the evidence gathered by the department for crimes related to the use of prohibited means and ways of warfare of the Central Office of the Investigative Committee sufficient to convict Ukrainian citizen Nadezhda Savchenko. She was found guilty of crimes under Part 2, items “a”, “b”, “f”, “g” and “k” of Article 105 of the RF Penal Code, Part 3 of Article 30, Part 2, item “a”, “b”, “f”, “g” and “k” of Article 105, Part 1 of Article 322 (murder of two or more people, attempted murder of two or more people  by a generally dangerous way motivated by political hate committed by a group of people in conspiracy, illegal crossing of the Russian border).

The court and investigation have revealed that during military actions near Luhansk in June 2014 Savchenko learnt location coordinates of a group of Russian journalists of VGTRK (Russian Broadcasting Company) and other citizens near Luhansk and passed them on to Ukrainian armed forces. After that it was those coordinates that were mortared killing VGTRK journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin. Other civilians also might have been wounded. Savchenko was detained after she had willingly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border without any documents.

The case against Savchenko of course stands out among other similar cases, but not because of the citizenship of the accused, but because of unprecedented pressure put on the investigators in the first place and not only by officials of Ukraine and their bosses, but the mass media and primitive lawyers. Those lawyers have gotten famous just because of such provocative claims, and not as professionals who won complicated cases. Information of all kinds threw in the mass media, isolated pieces of the criminal files, as well as corresponding interpretations and comments – this is what they are good at. Apparently, they thought that this way they could influence the investigators, court and public unaware about the details of the investigation. Taking it back to the legal dimension, I can say that the only important point the defense was built around was proving that Savchenko’s detention by members of the militia had happened prior to the death of the Russian journalists. At first the defense requested to join to the case conclusions made by Ukrainian experts and then even involved Russian specialists who did their orders for money. However, it was revealed during the trial that astronomer Vozyakova, who had analyzed videos, had made some obvious mistakes in her calculations of the possible period when they had been made, which could be a sign of fudging the data to make them agree with result needed to the defense. And by the way, during a questioning in the court, she explained that she had written her conclusion together with the lawyer of the accused, which is absolutely inacceptable. The investigators presented to the court the evidence that refuted the arguments of the defense altogether. Namely, statements made by witnesses from among the members of the militia, who gave a detailed chronology of the events, which are confirmed by other evidence, as well as the results of psychological and linguistic, forensic situation inquiries and a test using the data of satellite pictures. By the way, the satellite pictures were presented by the American company Digital Globe. Along with finding out the positions of the Ukrainian artillery, the fact was also confirmed that Savchenko was aware of them and that she had enough skills to adjust the artillery fire. The sum of all this confirms the version of investigators that the accused had plaid an important part in the battle by doing spotting for the guns shooting at civilians and Russian journalists, and after 12 o’clock, the time when she had left the position and was detained, the artillery fire became less intensive and accurate. The investigators presented a sum of irrefutable evidence that definitely point to the circumstances in which the crime had been committed.

The court has sentenced Savchenko to 22 years in a minimum-security penal colony and a fine of 30 thousand rubles.

Head of Media Relations                                                                                                                       V.I. Markin