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US disturbed by Russia extending Ukrainian MP detention

State Dept. urges Russia to release Savchenko and all other Ukrainian hostages, as a part of its commitment to Minsk agreements.

05.05.2015
US disturbed by Russia extending Ukrainian MP detention

WASHINGTON 

The U.S. is disturbed by Russia’s decision to extend the detention of a Ukrainian MP, a State Department official said Tuesday.

A Moscow court decided to extend pilot Nadiya Savchenko’s decision by six months.

An attorney for Savchenko took to Twitter late Monday to say that “Moscow's Basmanny District Court, would request to extend the period of detention for Savchenko to Nov. 13, 2015."

"We reiterate our serious concerns over her treatment in detention and reports that she is gravely ill while she remains a hostage to Russian authorities," said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke, calling the extension "callous and outrageous."

Rathke urged Russia to release Savchenko and all other Ukrainian hostages, as a part of its commitment to the Minsk agreements signed last September and this February. 

He added that Savchenko’s case is unique because she is a member of parliament but has been in prison while the legal proceedings against her has continued. 

Savchenko was captured by pro-Russian separatists last June while fighting as a volunteer in the pro-government "Aidar" battalion in eastern Ukraine.

Several days after her capture, she was taken to the border and turned over to Russian authorities.

She has been charged with the murder of two Russian journalists who were killed in a mortar attack.

Savchenko was put on the ballot of Ukraine's Fatherland party last October and elected to parliament in absentia.

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