News / Europe

    Ukrainian Pilot on Trial in Russia Threatens Hunger Strike

    FILE - Jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadiya 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 Nadiya 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.
    Associated Press

    An imprisoned Ukrainian pilot on trial in Russia has threatened to go on hunger strike unless she is extradited back home after the verdict, her sister says.
     
    Closing arguments in the trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko begin on Wednesday, and the verdict is due shortly. Russian authorities have indicated that they expect Savchenko, who is accused of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, to be found guilty.
     
    Savchenko was fighting in a volunteer battalion against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine when she was captured by the rebels in June 2014. She has accused the rebels of kidnapping her and taking her across the border to Russia where she was jailed and charged as an accessory to murder.
     
    Russian authorities insist that Savchenko provided the Ukrainian army with coordinates for the attack that killed the two journalists and several civilians before she was captured by the rebels. They say she then escaped from the separatists and crossed into Russia on her own, where she was detained.
     
    The Ukrainian government has campaigned for Savchenko's release, claiming that the charges against her were trumped up and that she should be treated as a prisoner of war. Ukraine has been counting on getting her exchanged for Russians held captive in Ukraine. Russian officials have said Savchenko could in theory be exchanged but only after the verdict is in.
     
    Savchenko's sister Vira said in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week that Nadiya has pledged to go on hunger strike unless she is sent back home.
     
    “If there is no action like extradition 10 days after the verdict, Nadiya will go on hunger strike,” Vira Savchenko told the AP. “She does not plan to lodge an appeal, and she will not wait for the (Russian) Supreme Court's verdict, because there is no justice.”
     
    Since her detention, the 34-year old professional pilot who previously served as a peacekeeper in Iraq has been elected into the Ukrainian parliament and voted as a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora