Ukrainian prisoner Savchenko resumes hunger strike in Russian custody

The Ukraine conflict's most famous prisoner, Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, has resumed a hunger strike in Russian custody, her lawyer said Wednesday.

"Savchenko has begun a dry hunger strike," meaning that she will go without food and water, lawyer Mark Feygin wrote on Twitter.

Savchenko, 34, was sentenced to more than two decades in Russian prison last month for the murder of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine. She had been accused of giving Ukrainian national forces the coordinates for the attack.

Weeks before the verdict, Savchenko announced that she was going on a hunger strike in an effort to expedite the legal proceedings, which had been ongoing for a year and a half.

Russian officials had said they would consider a prisoner exchange including Savchenko only after the verdict.

Recent media reports have suggested that Russia wanted to trade Savchenko for Russian arms smuggler Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States. However, the US embassy in Moscow told dpa that the US was "not considering this a possibility."

Last year, Savchenko reportedly went on a hunger strike for more than 40 days and had to be given nutrients via intravenous injection.

Last update: Wed, 06/04/2016 - 12:27

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