Nadiya Savchenko, Ukrainian politician and former prisoner of war, has written an open letter to Donald Trump, encouraging him to extend support to Ukraine as it continues to fight against Russian military incursions.
Savchenko called on Trump, who has expressed a controversial affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin, to uphold sanctions that have been imposed on Russia. “I appeal to you with the kind request to maintain and even to strengthen sanctions against the Russian Federation, because this country understands only force,” Savchenko wrote, according to the Kyiv Post. “I also ask for international diplomatic, technical, and military support for Ukraine.”
She added that Trump has “every possibility to prevent World War III.”
A former military pilot for the Ukraine Armed Forces, the nation’s first woman to hold such a post, Savchenko was captured by pro-Russia militia in 2014 and was subsequently convicted of directing artillery fire that killed two Russian journalists — charges she consistently denied. Savchenko was released from a Russian prison in 2016, as part of a prisoner exchange.
In her letter to Trump, Savchenko appealed for the release of other Ukrainian prisoners. “As the world called for my release, now I would like to help [Ukrainian prisoners] by raising awareness about their plight, too,” she wrote. I’d be very thankful for your possible future answer, in which you might explain to Ukrainians and to all the nations of the world the main points of your future administration’s steps regarding these questions.”
Last month, Savchenko appeared onstage at the Women in the World London Forum and discussed her time spent in a Russian prison. She spoke candidly about her thoughts on Putin: “Just send him into retirement.” Watch the video of Savchenko at the London Forum at the bottom of this article. Her segment begins at the 54:46 mark.
Welcome to London, where we’re exclusively streaming the first #WITW Forum on Facebook LIVE in partnership with @Edelman UK! We’ll have a number of incredible speakers joining us onstage tonight including: Founder Tina Brown, Ed Williams CEO, Edelman UK & Ireland, UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, Baroness Valerie Amos, Executive Director, World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin, Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko, First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani and Actress Rosamund Pike.
Posted by Women in the World on Thursday, October 6, 2016
Read more at the Kyiv Post.