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Second observation mission concerning N. Savchenko – 24-27 July

Between 24th and 27th July, the Open Dialog Foundation organised its second observation mission concerning the abducted officer of the Ukrainian army Nadiya Savchenko. The mission was joined by the Secretary of the deputies club of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada “Sovereign European Ukraine” Anastasiya Rozlutska, Petro Okhotin of the Open Dialog Foundation, and the STB journalist Iryna Storozhenko.

The mission members requested a visit with Lieutenant Savchenko in Voronezh, but as before, the detention centre’s authorities did not agree. On 25th July, a hearing was held on preventive detention applied against Nadiya Savchenko. The session was held in the building of the Regional Court in Voronezh. Lieutenant Savchenko was not present. She was at the detention centre (SIZO) at the time and the only method of communication with her was video conferencing. The quality of transmission was very poor; the lieutenant could not understand the words of her own defence lawyers at some points. The lawyers and the court spoke in Russian whilst Nadiya spoke Ukrainian. The translator for the Ukrainian officer – Anna Kumova – made many mistakes in her interpretation. Savchenko’s defence lawyers requested a different translator but the Court did not agree. Ultimately, the Court did not agree either for Nadiya Savchenko to leave the detention centre.

After the session had ended, the mission member Iryna Storozhenko unfurled up a Ukrainian flag in the court room, for which, a moment later, she was thrown out of the building by security. Nadiya Savchenko responded to the act by declaring: “Slava Ukraini”(Glory to Ukraine!). Several people in the room replied “Geroyam slava” (Glory to heroes!).