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Russia seeks 23 years jail for Ukraine pilot

Russia’s state prosecutor on Wednesday demanded a 23-year prison sentence for Ukrainian pilot and lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko accused of killing two Russian journalists in war-torn Ukraine.

“The prosecution requested 23 years,” one of Savchenko’s lawyers, Mark Feigin, said on Twitter.

After more than a year in detention, the aviator was put in the dock last summer in the small southern Russian town of Donetsk on the border with eastern Ukraine.

The trial is now drawing to a close and Savchenko is expected to make her last address to the court on Thursday.

Savchenko, who is seen by her compatriots as a symbol of resistance against what most Ukrainians consider an insurgency fuelled by President Vladimir Putin’s government, has denied any involvement.

Her politically charged case has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s backers in the West and has sparked further tensions between Moscow and Kiev.