Nadia Savchenko turned 35 yesterday.
Nadia Savchenko spent her second consecutive birthday in captivity yesterday.
And Nadia Savchenko spent that birthday alone.
She spent it alone because Russian officials refused to allow Savchenko's 78-year-old mother to visit her.
Now this isn't exactly surprising considering the petty cruelty and duplicity that has characterized Moscow's treatment of Savchenko from Day 1.
And this wasn't the only unpleasant birthday greeting Russia had for its hostage.
Reports emerged yesterday that Moscow is insisting that Kyiv grant a full pardon to two captured Russian military intelligence officers before they can be exchanged for Savchenko.
And at the same time Russia is also insisting that Ukraine pledge to imprison Savchenko for her full 22-year sentence.
As a result, lawyers for both sides are saying that an exchange is looking increasingly unlikely.
So let's put this in context.
Moscow wants a full pardon for Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov.
Both are admitted Russian GRU officers.
Both were captured on Ukrainian territory and convicted in what was widely seen as a fair trial of participating in an attack on Ukrainian forces near Luhansk.
And from the outset, both had full access to the OSCE, the Red Cross, Russian consul, human rights activists, and journalists.
And Russia is insisting that Savchenko -- who was kidnapped on Ukrainian territory and forcefully brought to Russia to face a face a show trial in Russia on transparently fabricated charges -- serve out her full sentence.
The whole thing is an insult wrapped in mockery inside of a lie.
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