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Russian Prosecutor Calls For 23-Year Sentence Against Savchenko

Jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko is seen inside a glass-walled cage as she attends a court Russian court hearing on March 2.

Russia's prosecutor has called for a 23-year prison term for Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko, who has been accused by Russian authorities of involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine.

The call came as closing arguments in the trial began on March 2. A verdict is expected soon after closing arguments are completed.

Savchenko was fighting in a volunteer battalion against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine when she was captured in June 2014.

She has accused the separatists of kidnapping her and taking her into Russia where she was jailed and charged.

Kyiv says the charges against her are trumped up and that she should be treated as a prisoner of war.

Savchenko has been refusing food while on trial in Russia and has threatened to go on full hunger strike – including a refusal to drink -- unless she is returned to Ukraine within 10 days of the verdict.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, TASS, and Interfax