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Jailed Ukrainian Pilot 'To Begin Dry Hunger Strike'


Ukrainian military pilot Nadia Savchenko, who has been sentenced by a Russian court to 22 years in prison, will begin a dry hunger strike on April 6, her defense lawyers say.

"Her demand is her immediate return to Ukraine," Nikolai Polozov, one of the Savchenko's lawyers, wrote on Twitter on April 4.

Polozov had earlier tweeted that Savchenko's "health condition is stable. She only drinks water."

Savchenko, 34, was sentenced on March 22 on charges including complicity in the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The sentence comes into effect on April 5.

She denies the charges and has gone on several hunger strikes protesting her detention and the court case.

Earlier on April 4, Savchenko's defense team said the pilot reiterated that she would not appeal the verdict, saying she did not recognize the legitimacy of the case against her.

Savchenko says she was seized in eastern Ukraine in June 2014, while fighting with a volunteer battalion against Russia-backed separatists, and taken to Russia illegally.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Kyiv was ready to swap her for Russian prisoners.

But a Kremlin spokesman said that "she will serve her sentence."

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS
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