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Ukrainian Pilot on Trial Pledges to Keep Up Hunger Strike

  • Associated Press

FILE - Jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko (L) stands in a defendant's cage during a court hearing in the town of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don region, Russia, Sept. 29, 2015.

FILE - Jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko (L) stands in a defendant's cage during a court hearing in the town of Donetsk, Rostov-on-Don region, Russia, Sept. 29, 2015.

A Ukrainian pilot on trial in Russia says she will remain on hunger strike until she is extradited back home.

Nadezhda Savchenko was fighting with a Ukrainian volunteer battalion against Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine when she was captured in June 2014.

Russia claims she was acting as a spotter who called in coordinates for a mortar attack that killed two Russian journalists and several other civilians.

After the judge adjourned the hearing on Thursday and did not allow her to give her final argument, Savchenko said she was going on hunger strike.

In her final argument released by her sister, Savchenko said she will keep up the hunger strike after the verdict. She called on Kiev to negotiate her extradition and pledged to return to Ukraine “dead or alive.”

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