CG4DU | 16Mar2016 | Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, [2] Press Release, [3] 02Mar2016 Statement

Freedom for Nadiya Savchenko

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Parliament of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
[email protected]

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on an urgent matter. 

As you may know Nadiya Savchenko -- Ukraine’s parliamentarian, pilot and illegally incarcerated and pseudo-tried political prisoner -- will be sentenced by Russia’ s kangaroo court next Monday, March 21, 2016.

We are grateful for the leadership that you have provided for the Government of Canada in condemning this egregious process and calling for Russia to set her free. To date, despite global pressure, President Vladimir Putin refuses to respond.

Time is running out.  We therefore ask that Canada intervene, once again to save this courageous woman -- a universal beacon for injustice, rule of law and due process.  She is determined to die rather than live in Russia’s captivity.  She is on a hunger  strike against the humiliation, terror and injustice being perpetrated by Russia on herself and her country. 

To save her life and to ensure that justice rather than an autocrat’s will prevail, we ask you to telephone Mr. Putin, to ask him to release Ms. Savchenko.

This is for his own sake as much as for hers.  Russia’s President is keen to improve relations with Canada and globally after his terror in Ukraine and Syria.  To do this, he needs to start moving away from his duplicitous ways. 

Prime Minister, please let him know that the world is watching.  Should he refuse advise him svp that Canada will join others in the international community to sanction Russia’s individuals connected with her illegal incarceration.

Canada has a fine record of supporting incarcerated parliamentarians including Myanmar’s de facto President Aung San Suu Kyi.   We must continue standing firm against evil. 

We thank you in advance for considering our request stemming from our nation’s high regard for human rights and the safety and well being of women.

Warmest regards,

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Nestor Gayowsky
Richard Hareychuk
Solomia Khmara
Steve Komarnycky
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv
Jayne Paluck
Oksana Shmigelsky

Hon. Rona Ambrose, MP
Hon. Thomas Mulcair, MP
Hon. Stephane Dion, MP
Hon. Ralph Goodale, MP
Hon. John McCallum, MP
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, MP
Hon Chrystia Freeland, MP
Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, MP
Hon MaryAnn Mihychuk, MP
Members of Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
James Bezan, MP
Senator Raynell Andreychuk
Ambassador Roman Waschuk
Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko
Mr. Paul Grod

[2] Press Release

For immediate release

Date:  March 16, 2016

Re: Sentencing of Nadiya Savchenko in Russia’s kangaroo court MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016

Ottawa -- The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine has appealed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make a last ditch attempt to free the abducted and incarcerated parliamentarian Nadiya Savchenko in Russia’s custody for nearly two years.

“We are asking Prime Minister Trudeau to telephone President Putin and ask him to release Nadiya,”  says Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, a member of the Group.  “President Putin wants Canada to respect Russia and to move forward to improving relations.  Putin must show some good will for that to happen: release Nadiya.”

Colonel Savchenko, a military pilot, has resumed her hunger strike to protest her illegally constituted trial.  The EU, US, Britain and others to have called for her release considered to be politically motivated as she is highly critical of Russia’s invasion of her country.

The Group’s letter underscores that time is running out: She is to be sentenced on March 21, 2016.  It is expected that she will receive the maximum sentence for a murder she didn’t commit. “She is determined to die rather than live in Russia’s captivity.  Her hunger strike is a stand against the humiliation, terror and injustice being perpetrated by Russia on herself and her country.  Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov said that her health is “insignificant”.  "Ukrainian doctors have not been allowed to see her", worries Myroslava Oleksiuk, a founding member of the Group.

“We’re counting on Canada’s record of supporting human rights of incarcerated women politicians like Myanmar’s de facto president Aung San Suu Kyi.   Now we hope Canada will step up for Nadiya Savchenko.”

Nadiya’s case: why the world calls to #FreeSavchenko
- 30 -
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn

Myroslava Oleksiuk

The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine is dedicated to the furthering of democracy in Ukraine

[3] Nadiya Savchenko Statement

Voices of Ukraine | 02Mar2016 | Nadiya Savchenko
Posted on March 3, 2016    by chervonaruta

You have no right to try me!

By Nadiya Savchenko, posted on Facebook by her sister Vira Savchenko
Posted on 03.02.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Editor’s note: Voices of Ukraine translated Nadiya Savchenko’s “Arguments” notes and then added to them from what she actually said in court from sources listed at the end of the article.


Over these six months of lengthy and tedious trials, we found that this court process has indeed proven some guilt:

1) The guilt of the [two] Russian journalists [Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin]. They are guilty of lying, of deceptive and distorted coverage of events in Ukraine, as well as in the world and in Russia. They are also guilty of disregarding safety rules while in the combat zone, for the sake of career fame. Had they been wearing flak jackets and helmets, and had they not gone where they weren’t supposed to, they would still be alive.

2) The guilt of Russian TV Channels, their directors and owners -- who, for the sake of hot footage, ratings and profit, shamelessly send their correspondents to their deaths. Without proper training or accreditation. They didn’t give a damn about their journalists. The most guilt for the deaths of Voloshyn and Kornelyuk lies with their very management.

We saw a video where some anchor was saying that the Ukrainian media lies, and that Russian journalists Voloshyn and Kornelyuk had helmets and flak jackets. Even this court proved that they were wearing neither. Russian TV channels keep lying.

3) The guilt of pro-Russian separatists and Russian troops. They are guilty of killing Ukrainians, occupying Ukrainian lands in Russia’s undeclared, vile and insidious war against Ukraine. And no matter how some “peaceful residents of Donbas,” victims, and, indeed, separatists, squeal that they are being killed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the video furnished by Yegor Russky -- incidentally, a Russian citizen! – clearly shows that it is separatists who are killing and finishing off Ukrainian soldiers.

4) This trial also proved the guilt of the Investigative Committee of Russia (SK RF), the Federal Security Bureau of Russia (FSB), and specifically, investigator Manshyn. They are guilty of kidnapping, illegal detention, of torturing people, of fabricating case materials, expert opinions and evidence, and of training lying witnesses. Proof of that can be seen in the 40 nonsensically slapped together volumes of the ludicrous case against me.

5) The guilt of Russian prosecutors and judges. They are guilty of contempt of the law, justice and international law, of their one-sided, a priori accusatory court process and the dishonest examination of the case, and also of political corruption under the rule of the Russian government. They spit on international law and human rights. They’ve received the state order from the Kremlin, and they are following it to the letter.

6) This trial proved the guilt of the Russian authorities. They are guilty of imperial-terrorist acts, political tricks and decisions directed against Ukraine, Ukrainians and the entire civilized democratic world! Their guilt is demonstrated by the occupation of Crimea, unleashing a war in Donbas, the genocide of the Ukrainian people in these regions, and their numerous military and political interference in many countries in the world. They are invading everywhere, committing genocide of indigenous populations and trying to impose a totalitarian regime under Russian domination.

This happened in Chechnya and Abkhazia, and now we’re seeing this in Ukraine, Dagestan, and Syria. Russia’s politics and state interests are placed higher than human lives -- specifically, the lives of the people indigenous to the lands that correspond to those state interests.

7) The one thing not proven in this given court trial was my guilt! Because I’m an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and I was defending my people and my homeland, as per the oath I had sworn to my people. I had the full right to do that! I was carrying out my duty! You are not trying your veterans of the Great Patriotic War for defending their Fatherland from invaders, regardless of how many people they killed. Thus, you have no right to try me!

The prosecutor’s office had the audacity to state that I have inflated self-esteem, according to their expert opinion -- to that, I’d like to say: the more I encounter such effeminate men like the prosecutors and investigator Manshyn, the higher is my self-esteem as a woman, a soldier, and a human being.

I don’t know how long this whole act is going to continue, but I want to say this right away: if there’s going to be a repeat of the situation with the prosecutors, when they requested three weeks for debates, then I have an immediate defense mechanism against that. Starting tomorrow, I start a dry hunger strike. So if the court takes more than two weeks to pass the verdict, which has already been dictated from above, then you will have to announce my verdict without me, posthumously.

I don’t see the need to wait for any exchange. If you want to resolve this case politically, and get back two guilty GRU officers at the price of one innocent person – that’s too much. You should have exchanged [Oleh] Sentsov and [Olexander] Kolchenko for the GRU officers. I am not a bargaining chip! I am an innocent person, my guilt has not been and cannot be proven. So I will not wait for any exchanges, bargaining, or other plays for time.

And, most importantly. Please, just let the prosecutors have as much as they’re asking. Not a day more, not a day less. All 23 [years]. Don’t ask for more or for less, don’t give them time for some appeals and, again, more plays for time. You have already proven you are capable of nothing. You have already proven how Russia can disgrace itself -- on the example of one person. You have not broken me, and will never break me. So let’s wrap all this up as quickly as possible, I won’t wait any longer.

You did not give me my life, you do not control my fate, and it is not up to you to decide it! If it takes more than two weeks, I won’t wait for your verdict. That is all.”

Source: Vira Savchenko’s FB,

Additional listening (in Russian):
Nadiya Savchenko speech in court, March2, 2016

Nadiya Savchenko delivers emotional speech in Russian court