Moscow (AFP) – The health of a hunger-striking Ukrainian pilot held in a Russian jail has deteriorated significantly and she “could die within days,” a member of the Kremlin’s human rights council said on Friday.
Nadia Savchenko, a 33-year-old Ukrainian helicopter navigator, who has been charged with involvement in the deaths of two Russian reporters in a mortar attack in east Ukraine, has been held in a Moscow jail for nearly nine months. Savchenko denies the charges, saying she was kidnapped and brought to Russia, and launched a hunger strike on December 13. She has refused glucose drips for the past two weeks.
“Over the past days her health sharply deteriorated,” Yelena Masyuk, a member of the Kremlin’s rights council, said in an open letter released on Friday.
“She’s now experiencing serious problems with her internal organs,” said Masyuk, who visited the Ukrainian on Thursday.
“Nadezhda Savchenko can die within days,” she said, using the Russian version of her name.
Masyuk urged the head of President Vladimir Putin’s human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, to appeal to the authorities to place the pilot under house arrest.