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Russian Court Extends Savchenko's Detention By Another Six Months

Jailed Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko (file photo)

Jailed Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko (file photo)

A Russian court on September 15 ruled that Ukrainian helicopter pilot Nadia Savchenko must stay in a Russian jail for at least another six months as her trial continues.

Savchenko, already in pre-trial detention since June 2014, faces up to 25 years in prison for what Russian authorities allege was participation in the 2014 killing of two Russian war correspondents in eastern Ukraine.

Savchenko, who denies the charges, says she was captured by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who illegally transferred across the border into Russia.

She has spent more than 80 days on hunger strike to protest her detention.

Savchenko appeared in court on September 15 in the town of Donetsk, in Russia's southern Rostov Oblast, near the border with eastern Ukraine for a second preliminary hearing after her lawyers' request for the trial to be moved to Moscow was denied.

The court on September 15 rejected calls to release Savchenko during the trial on the basis of her diplomatic immunity as a Ukrainian delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Based on reporting by AFP, and Interfax