Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ukraine Extends Russia Sanctions Over Savchenko Case

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine has extended a sanctions list against Russia to include people and institutions involved in the detention of pilot Nadezhda Savchenko and other Ukrainian citizens, its Security and Defence Council said on Friday.

Former Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko looks out from a glass-walled cage during a verdict hearing at a court in the southern border town of Donetsk in Rostov region, Russia, in this still image taken from video March 22, 2016.

Kiev has already imposed economic and other restrictions on more than 400 Russian citizens and companies following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March 2014 and the ensuing pro-Russian separatist uprising in the east.

The latest additions to the list follow a Russian court's decision on Tuesday to sentence Savchenko to 22 years in jail over her alleged involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists.

"The entities included on the sanctions list include the managers and works of the FSB (security service), the Russian Investigative Committee, prosecutors, the judiciary, military and others," the Council said in an online statement.

It accused the institutions of "abduction, illegal detention, torture, (and) falsification of cases" against detained Ukrainians.

Savchenko, who had taken leave from her job as a military pilot to volunteer with Ukraine's ground forces fighting against the separatists in eastern Ukraine, was captured by pro-Moscow rebels there in June 2014.

She was handed over to Russia where she was charged with directing mortar fire which killed two Russian journalists who were covering the conflict.

She has repeatedly gone on hunger strike, and says she is the victim of a show trial.

On Friday, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry accused Russia of concealing a deterioration in her health and preventing Ukrainian doctors from checking her.

While some of the sanctions have had a palpable impact, such as the ban on Russian airlines Transaero and Aeroflot flying to Ukraine, the consequences of others have been harder to assess at a time when bilateral relations are already at an all-time low.

Source: Google News

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