Ukraine asks German doctors to examine pilot jailed in Russia

11th March 2016, Comments 0 comments

Ukraine said Friday it had asked German doctors to check on the health of Nadiya Savchenko, who has agreed to drink water but is still not eating in protest at her Russian trial.

Savchenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian combat pilot, denies charges of being involved in the June 2014 killing of two Russian state television journalists in the separatist east of the former Soviet state.

But her Russian lawyer said Friday that Savchenko was suffering from "severe complications" after not eating or drinking for seven days.

"Yesterday, she was throwing up the water she was trying to drink," her defence lawyer Nikolai Polozov wrote on Facebook.

"Her already exhausted health is getting worse."

He added that Savchenko has been running a fever for several days, "which at the very least points to a serious inflammation of her organs."

Ukraine's foreign ministry said a team of its doctors sent to the southern Russian detention centre where Savchenko is being held had still not been granted permission to see her.

"She categorically rejects Russian doctors, which is why we insist that (she is seen) by Ukrainian or European doctors," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa told AFP.

"Since they are not admitting Ukrainian doctors, we have appealed for German doctors' help," Betsa said.

Savchenko is viewed by her supporters as a symbol of resistance against what Kiev's pro-Western leaders treat as Russia's aggression in its industrial heartland.

The eastern separatist war has claimed nearly 9,200 live since pro-Russian insurgents angered by the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-backed leadership revolted against the Kiev authorities in April 2014.

Russia rejects Ukrainian and Western charges of instigating and backing the unrest.

os-zak/jm


© 2016 AFP

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