Vira Savchenko, the sister of the Ukrainian Lieutenant Nadyia Savchenko, visited Paris, Brussels and Strasburg, where she met, amongst others, journalists, parliamentarians, representatives of international human rights organisations and of the Ukrainian community. She also talked about the persecution suffered by her sister during a press conference at the Ukrainian Embassy and during an open conference with the participation of Mustafa Dhemilev of the Ukrainian Culture Centre in Paris. The meetings and conferences were organised by the Open Dialogue Foundation which has been following the developments of Savchenko’s case from the outset and also launched an international campaign in support of the Ukrainian pilot. The Open Dialogue Foundation’s partners in organising Vira Savchenko’s visits were the Cosmopolitan Project Foundation (FR NGO) and the Association of Ukrainian Students in France.
During her stay in Paris, the sister of the imprisoned lieutenant was interviewed by, amongst others, the Marianne newspaper and RFI station. She also met the head of the Russian department at the French branch of Amnesty International and members of the Ukrainian-French inter-parliamentary bilateral groups at the National Assembly and the Senate. She talked about the conditions of Nadyia’s detention with, amongst others, Deputy Jean-Claude Mignon, Chair of the French delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and Erik Fournier, Director of the East Europe Bureau at the Foreign Ministry. In Brussels, meetings were held with MEPs and high-ranking EU officials. In Strasburg, Vira Savchenko was met by members of the Council of Europe, amongst them, the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Cabinet Director Anne Brasseur (Chair of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) and the Human Rights Commissioner at the Council of Europe.
For months now, the Open Dialogue Foundation has been conducting an international campaign in support of Lieutenant N. Savchenko, the Ukrainian illegally abducted by the FSB. Apart from happenings, the Foundation has drafted detailed reports documenting the history of persecutions of Ukrainian activists at the hands of the Russian authorities. Aside from the reports on Nadyia Savchenko, the so-called ‘Savchenko List’ has been compiled, which cites the names of persons directly involved in her persecution. Inspired by the well-known Magnitsky List, it has been supported by the “Batkivshchyna” party. The ODF’s efforts have also been appreciated by Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry. Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has now taken account of the List, drafting a resolution imposing sanctions against those responsible for the unfounded detention of Savchenko, in a Moscow detention centre. Vira Savchenko’s visits to European cities were part of a campaign to bring about the release of the Ukrainian Leutenant.