WASHINGTON (dpa) – The United States on Wednesday reiterated its call for Russia to release Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.
Washington says she is gravely ill after being treated in an “appalling” manner by her captives.
“We want to reiterate our se-rious concerns about reports that (Savchenko) is gravely ill while she remains a hostage to Russian authorities,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “Her life hangs in the balance.”
Savchenko, who was captured in June by pro-Russian separatists, has been on a hunger strike for 54 days to protest her detention, Psaki said.
The United States last publicly called for her release in January.
After being illegally moved across the border, Savchenko has been forced to undergo psychiatric evaluations, solitary confinement, restricted access to a Ukrainian consular official and isolation from her family, Psaki said.
Moscow has accused Savchen-ko, 33, of aiding the killing of two Russian journalists while she was fighting with a volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine has accused Moscow of kidnapping Savchenko.
She was elected in October to the Ukrainian Parliament despite her imprisonment. She is among the first women in Ukraine to have trained as a military pilot.