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Hunger-Striking Savchenko Feeling Pain In Her Organs, Rights Activist Says


Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko stands inside a defendant's cage during her hearing in the Basmanny district court in Moscow on February 10.

MOSCOW -- A human rights activist says that Nadia Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot who is in the third month of a hunger strike in a Moscow jail, is feeling pain in her internal organs.

Valery Borshchyov, who recently visited Savchenko in pretrial detention, told RFE/RL on February 23 that she "complained about her kidneys and gallbladder."

He said Savchenko was still refusing to halt the hunger strike she began on December 13.

Borshchyov said that Savchenko "looks very determined and strong," but he expressed concern that "the hunger strike is lasting for too long."

Savchenko says she was captured by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and transported illegally to Russia.

She denies Russian charges of involvement in the death of two journalists killed in the conflict between Russian-backed rebels and government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has rejected Western calls for her release.

German doctors were allowed to visit Savchenko and speak with her prison doctors on February 15.

Berlin said it was extremely concerned about her health and repeated calls for her release.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman gave no further details of her condition.