Throughout the course of Russian war in Ukraine which up to date is about to reach its first anniversary, a parallel drama kept unraveling in Russian courts, if of course that word can be applied to the institutions which carry out what counts as the law in Russia. For almost eight month already Nadiya has been kept prisoner by Russia, even though she was illegally captured and detained by terrorist forces in Ukraine – apparently Russia accepts prisoners from the terrorists, and plays a role of the terrorist court. But even now, as the Ukrainian parliament has given the captured female pilot a People’s Deputy status, which makes her efficiently a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Russia still refuses to free the now government worker Savchenko. So what gives? Why does Russia need a political prisoner – at least another one, since political prisoners are not exactly a vanguard idea in that part of the world? Of course the first sensible answer to this is as obvious as the idea of taking prisoners itself – leverage. Doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Kremlin reptiles are gonna use every opportunity to pressure Ukraine they’re gonna get. Although Savchenko is not as much of a bargaining chip as missiles and tanks are, she is, after all, a member of the Parliament.
Yet another possibility is far more likely. During the recent years, Russia had a number of notorious court hearings, from Pussy Riot to such political prisoners as Navalny, Hodorkovsky and Savchenko. Of course, there’s always the factor of getting rid of real threats in form of the very political dissidents who threaten Putin’s regime and can (sort of ) organize people. But there’s also a subtler note to it.
By officiously prosecuting various enemies of the state, Russian government tries to make it look as if they’re in their rights to do so. Even though the corruption of the Russian court system at this point is almost undeniable, Russia still pretends as if the decisions of its Supreme Court somehow represent justice, and the fact that they protect the interests of ruling elite is merely a coincidence. So this time, the court decision is going to simply mean “Ukrainians kill Russians – see, we kidnapped one and charged her with what we just said, so it’s totally legit!”.
Of course, it’s as valid as putting a judge’s robe on an ape and deeming its decisions valid, but in a country where power is basically a cult, this may be not that far from truth.
By JAROSLAV JAY /www.euromaidanpress.com/
Who is Savchenko?
Savchenko’s background has become a popular subject in Ukrainian media, with Espreso TV asking in a headline, “Who is this Nadiia Savchenko who the Russians want to imprison for life?” An entire website to save Savchenko was launched by Ukrainian TV channel 1+1.
According to various reports, Savchenko, a Mi-24 helicopter pilot, was on leave from the military when she joined a volunteer battalion fighting separatists in the east, where she was later captured.
She was profiled in 2011 in a Ukrainian military video that described her sometimes difficult career path from design and journalism student to pilot. “She dreamed of the sky from childhood…. She wanted to pilot fighter planes,” the narration says.
According to the film, Savchenko served for six months as a peacekeeper in Iraq. She went on to serve as the only female soldier among Ukraine’s peacekeeping troops. Upon returning, she successfully petitioned the Defense Ministry for the right to attend the prestigious Air Force University in Kharkiv, which until then had been open only to men.
The distinction earned her the attention of Ukrainian television and the United Nations Development Program, which used her example to help successfully lobby for 2010 legislation establishing principles of gender equality in the Ukrainian military.
The film features factoids about Savchenko (her favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption) and interviews with her mother and friends and compares her to the title character of Hollywood movie “G.I. Jane.”
Savchenko says that for when you are flying, “you are in paradise.” Towards the end of the video she says, “I think a lucky person is one who dies doing what one loves…. I think I must be one of those people.”
Please see social media campaign – #saveourgirl
For more info: https://www.eurochicago.com/2015/03/savchenko/