Ukraine detains war hero Savchenko over suspected coup plot

Photo: Reuters


Ukraine’s State Security Service on Thursday detained lawmaker Nadiya Savchenko, an ex-military helicopter navigator who became a national hero after being held in a Russian jail, on charges of planning a military-style coup, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors allege that Savchenko, who became a lawmaker on her return from Russia, planned an attack on parliament using grenades and automatic weapons acquired from pro-Russian separatists in the eastern conflict zone.

Savchenko, who has been a frequent and outspoken critic of the current authorities, does not deny the allegations against her outright.

She says undercover agents seeking to discredit her had encouraged her to plan to overthrow the government and that she had played along to bring the authorities’ schemes to public notice.

“This is not a terrorist act, this is a political provocation to make the authorities look ridiculous,” she said at a briefing on Tuesday.

She was detained in parliament on Thursday after lawmakers voted to remove her parliamentary immunity from prosecution and granted General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko’s request to allow her to be taken into custody.

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