Nadiya Savchenko is Ukraine’s first female fighter pilot, and a member of parliament, but this week she celebrated her 34th birthday in solitary confinement in one of Moscow’s most notorious jails. Savchenko is accused of assisting the direction of mortar fire in disputed eastern Ukraine, leading to the deaths of two Russian citizens and endangering five more. She’s also accused of illegally crossing the Russian border (and weirdly enough, was originally accused of pretending to be a refugee). It’s clear that she has fallen victim to much larger geo-political games, and her plight has made her a symbol and hero to anti-Russian activists in Ukraine. American lawmakers, such as Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Sen. John McCain, have also come to her defense. And her mother has mounted a global plea for help in freeing her. She has spent months in solitary confinement, and ended her latest hunger strike a few days ago, on her birthday, May 11. Savchenko is expected to go on trial in August, but in a letter to The Daily Beast, she is defiant — and says her time in Putin’s prison has not broken her: “Even though one can put a person’s body in a cage, it is impossible to imprison one’s free thought, willpower and unbroken spirit!”
Read the full story at The Daily Beast.