Die Kampfpilotin Nadija Sawtschenko, die als Mitglied eines rechtsextremen ukrainischen Freiwilligen-Bataillons an den Kämpfen in der Ostukraine teilgenommen hatte, war am 21. März 2016 in Russland zu 21 Jahren Haft verurteilt worden wegen der Beteiligung an der Ermordung russischer Journalisten durch die Koordination von Artilleriebeschuss und wegen des illegalen Grenzübertritts nach Russland. Belege der Verteidigung dafür, dass Sawtschenko bereits kurz vor dem Beschuss der Journalisten von ostukrainischen Separatisten gefangen genommen wurde und von diesen gewaltsam auf russisches Staatsgebiet gebracht wurde, wurden vor Gericht ignoriert (s. Interner Link: Ukraine-Analysen 146).
Aufgrund einer starken Unterstützungskampagne in der Ukraine, in der sie u. a. über die Wahlliste von Julia Timoschenkos Partei Vaterland ins ukrainische Parlament gewählt wurde und von dort als Delegierte in die Parlamentarische Versammlung des Europarates entsandt wurde, erhielt der Fall Sawtschenko internationale Beachtung. Sowohl durch den russischen Strafprozess, der nicht rechtsstaatlichen Standards entsprach, als auch durch wiederholte Hungerstreiks blieb Sawtschenko in der Medienberichterstattung nicht nur in der Ukraine präsent. Ukrainische und westliche Politiker sprachen sich wiederholt für ihre Freilassung aus.
Am 25. Mai 2016 wurde Sawtschenko vom russischen Präsident Wladimir Putin begnadigt und gegen zwei russische Staatsbürger, Jewgenij Jerofejew and Aleksandr Aleksandrow, ausgetauscht. Die beiden Russen hatten auf Seiten der Separatisten an den Kämpfen in der Ostukraine teilgenommen und waren in der Ukraine im April 2016 zu 14 Jahren Haft verurteilt worden.
Wie die ersten Reaktionen westlicher Politiker zeigen, wurde die Freilassung Sawtschenkos als russisches Entgegenkommen und Zeichen der Entspannung interpretiert. Kurz vor der in der EU kontrovers diskutierten Entscheidung über die Verlängerung der Sanktionen gegen Russland im Zusammenhang mit der Umsetzung des Minsker Friedensplans für die Ukraine könnte die Freilassung also eine entscheidende Rolle für die zukünftige Politik der EU gegenüber Russland spielen. Sawtschenko ist aber bei weitem nicht die einzige politische Gefangene im Kontext der Ukrainekrise, gegen die in Russland unter Verletzung rechtsstaatlicher Prinzipien vorgegangen wurde, wie unsere Dokumentation in den Interner Link: Ukraine-Analysen Nr. 166 zeigt.
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir erste englischsprachige Stellungnahmen zur Freilassung von Nadija Sawtschenko.
(Die Redaktion der Ukraine-Analysen)
Press announcement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko (23 May 2016, 19:29)
President: We will do everything possible for Nadiya Savchenko to return home this month
President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that a huge amount of efforts was made to bring Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko illegally convicted in Russia back to Ukraine.
"We will do everything possible for Nadiya to return home as soon as possible. I’ll do everything to bring her back this month,” Petro Poroshenko told journalists in Turkey answering the question about possible exchange of Nadiya Savchenko for Russian servicemen convicted in Ukraine.
The President reminded that in the course of his previous visit to Turkey he had declared willingness to use any constitutional powers to bring Nadiya back to Ukraine. "Thus, in case I receive such an address, I will use it immediately,” the Head of State noted.
According to him, significant part of his today’s negotiations was dedicated to Nadiya Savchenko.
"At the same time, I would like to avoid politicization of that process when certain politicians, government officials or civil servants want to make a good hand on that. No politician except our foreign partners will be involved in that,” he said.
"However, we will talk about it when the presidential plane with Nadiya lands in the Ukrainian airport,” Petro Poroshenko said adding that "too much is at stake”.
Russia Today (25 May 2016, 12:05)
Ukrainian pilot Savchenko pardoned by Putin, swapped for 2 Russians
An aircraft with Russian citizens Evgeny Erofeev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov, who were swapped for Ukraine’s Nadezhda Savchenko, has landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport. Savchenko was pardoned by President Putin on Wednesday.
President Putin signed a decree pardoning Nadezhda Savchenko on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that the Russian leader signed the document simultaneously with the arrival of Erofeev and Aleksandrov in Moscow.
Meanwhile, Savchenko has already been delivered to Kiev on a Ukrainian plane, Peskov said.
In March, a Russian court found Ukrainian pilot Savchenko guilty of murdering Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin near Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, and of illegally crossing the Russian border. According to prosecutors, she relayed the coordinates of a checkpoint where the two reporters were subsequently killed by Ukrainian Aidar Battalion artillery fire near the town of Metalist in June 2014. The attack also resulted in the deaths of Ukrainian civilians. Afterwards, Savchenko illegally crossed the border into Russia.
Russian citizens Evgeny Erofeev and Aleksandr Aleksandrov were sentenced in Ukraine in April to 14 years in prison after a district court in Kiev found them guilty of terrorist activities.
Both Erofeev and Aleksandrov denied the crimes they are accused of. The two men were captured in Donbass in May 2015, with Kiev claiming they were Russian servicemen. The Russian Defense Ministry officially denied the allegations, stating that neither Erofeev nor Aleksandrov were serving in the Russian Army at that time.
When the aircraft with Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Evgeny Erofeev landed in Moscow, their wives, Ekaterina and Yulia, were there to meet them.
"We were waiting for them, we were very worried and hoped for their return,” Yulia Erofeeva said.
It has been revealed that in March relatives of Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin addressed President Vladimir Putin with a plea to pardon Nadezhda Savchenko.
President Putin met with Igor Kornelyuk’s widow, Ekaterina, and Anton Voloshin’s sister, Maryana, on Wednesday to personally express gratitude for their position.
"I want to thank you for your position and express hope that such a decision, motivated by humanitarian considerations in the first place, will lead to a de-escalation of the confrontation in a certain conflict zone and will help to avoid similar terrible and needless losses. Thank you very much,” Putin told the relatives of the dead journalists.
Quelle: Russia Today (vom russischen Staat finanzierter Auslandsfernsehsender)
PRESS RELEASE: OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Steinmeier welcomes the release of Nadiya Savchenko
BERLIN, 25 May 2016—OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today welcomed the release of the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko.
"I am glad and relieved that the Nadiya Savchenko has been released at last and that she can now return to her family in Ukraine,” Steinmeier said. "This is good news for which we have long worked to bring about and for which we nevertheless had to wait a long time. I offer my best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ms. Savchenko. Our thoughts are with her and her family. I hope and wish that today’s exchange will help build trust between Ukraine and Russia, thus providing the Minsk process with positive momentum.”
Quelle: Externer Link: Webseite der OSZE
PRESS RELEASE: ODIHR Director Link welcomes Nadiya Savchenko’s release, stresses need to respect rights of remaining prisoners
WARSAW, 25 May 2016—Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, welcomed the release today of Ukrainian pilot and member of parliament, Nadiya Savchenko, who had been held in Russia since 2014.
"I am very happy at the news of the release of Nadiya Savchenko,” Director Link said. "I hope that the end of her ordeal can contribute to the co-operation that will be necessary, in line with the Minsk agreement, to end the conflict in and around Ukraine.”
Savchenko had been imprisoned in Rostov-on-Don, and was released there in exchange for two Russians being held in Ukraine. She was then flown back to Ukraine.
The serious disputes over the facts surrounding Savchenko’s arrest and detention, as well as concerns about the nature of her trial and conviction, underline the importance of the commitments all OSCE participating States have made in the areas of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including rule of law guarantees, such as the right to a fair trial,” Director Link said. "We must not forget that others remain in detention, and ensuring that these rights are protected for them must play a central role in reaching any settlement.”
Savchenko, a military pilot, was captured in eastern Ukraine in June 2014. She was accused of directing artillery fire that killed two Russian journalists and, on 21 March of this year, was convicted for murder and illegally crossing the Russian border, and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Quelle: Externer Link: Webseite der OSZE
Press announcement: President warmly welcomes release of PACE member Nadiia Savchenko
"The release of my fellow PACE member Nadiia Savchenko is excellent news,” said Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
"I commend both Russia and Ukraine for making this possible, and I look forward to welcoming her in Strasbourg soon—perhaps even at the next session in June, if her health permits.”
The President added: "I hope that both sides can now build on the goodwill that made this possible in order to make further progress on implementing the Minsk agreements.”