04:19 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Former Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko looks out from a glass-walled cage as she attends a court hearing in the southern border town of Donetsk in Rostov region, Russia, in this file picture taken March 9, 2016

    Ukrainian Pilot Savchenko Sentenced to 22 Years in Jail

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    According to the court ruling, the Ukrainian pilot will have to spend 22 years in prison.

    Technically Savchenko will remain in jail for 20 years and 4 months as she has already spent almost two years in a detention facility. 

    The judge was unable to finish reading the verdict: Savchenko began singing a Ukrainian song during the announcement, expressing her denial of the whole situation. 

    ​The court ruled that Nadezhda Savchenko is not eligible for a pardon for at least 12 years —  until 2028. The Ukrainian pilot was detained in July 2014, and charged with complicity in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, and for illegally crossing the border.

    During the trial, the defendant dismissed the charges against her as "nonsense and lies" and declared her innocence. Savchenko's attorneys said they were not going to appeal against the court's ruling. 

    According to prosecutors, she relayed the coordinates of a checkpoint where two Russian journalists were subsequently killed by Ukrainian artillery fire near Metalist, Ukraine in June 2014.

    Savchenko is an officer of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. According to the investigation into her case, during combat operations near Ukraine's eastern city of Luhansk in June 2014, Savchenko joined the Aidar Battalion.   


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