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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Live Day 329
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Ukrainian POW Facing Murder Charges In Russia Will Not End Hunger Strike After 30+ Days
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Nadiya Savchenko, the Ukrainian airforce pilot who was kidnapped by Russian-backed separatists, dragged across the border into Russia, and is now facing murder charges in the deaths of two journalists whom she almost certainly never encountered, has released a letter stating that despite the insistence of many people in Ukraine, she will not end her hunger strike because it is the only weapon she has against this injustice:

Yulya Tymoshenko wrote me a letter in which she asks me to suspend my hunger strike and preserve my strength since “the enemy needs us to be weak”.  These are very wise words. Thank you, Yulya Volodymyrovna.

But I want to reassure you that I have never been weak and never will be! They cannot break my spirit, and I’m not going to get into battle with the prison guards!  The main thing is to hold out in spirit, and my physical strength will recover. .. And if God has need for something else, then so be it … the loss of one fighter is a very great loss, but it is in no way a lost war!  Ukraine will win!”

Well, a person who was born free and not a slave in captivity, cannot live in prison. Especially if he or she is innocent.

Through my protest – my hunger – I wish to achieve common sense from the Russian authorities and an awakening of conscience from the Russian Investigative Committee. There is irrefutable evidence of my lack of involvement and innocence of the crimes they accuse me of.  What else do they need?

I have taken the decision to go on hunger strike myself and nobody pushed me into it. I have given my word that “Until the day I return to Ukraine, or until the last day of my life in Russia!” and I will not back down, otherwise what value would my words have?!

Read the entire letter here

On January 9 we reported that Savchenko was on the 28th day of her hunger strike and had reportedly lost 10 kg [22 pounds], but insisted that any forced-feeding would be considered torture. 

-- James Miller