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Russian Court Rejects Savchenko Request For Moscow Trial

A Russian court has rejected a defense request to move the high-profile trial of Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko to Moscow.

The Rostov-on-Don regional court ruled on August 21 that Savchenko -- who is charged with providing information that led to the deaths of two Russian journalists -- should be tried in a small town near the Ukrainian border.

Russian officials say Savchenko, who served in a volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine where Ukrainian forces are fighting Russian-backed separatists, provided the coordinates for a mortar attack that killed the journalists last summer.

Savchenko, whose lawyers say was captured by rebels in Ukraine and smuggled into Russia, had previously gone on a hunger strike to protest her detention, which she says is illegal.

International rights groups have called for Savchenko to be released.

Savchenko's lawyer, Mark Feygin, tweeted on August 21 that the ruling is an indication that she would be convicted.

Feygin suggested Savchenko could eventually be exchanged for Russian prisoners in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax