MOSCOW – A Ukrainian officer charged with the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine said Tuesday she was kidnapped by Russians after she was captured by separatist rebels.
Russian prosecutors claim Nadezhda Savchenko intentionally targeted journalists and civilians when Ukrainian forces attacked rebel positions in June 2014.
Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot who served in a volunteer battalion fighting alongside government troops against Russia-backed rebels, told the court on Tuesday she had been captured before the mortar attack on civilians and journalists.
After a week of captivity in the rebel-held Luhansk, Savchenko said, she was handed over to unknown men with Russian accents who took her across the border.
The Ukrainian government has been campaigning for Savchenko's release, claiming that the charges against her were trumped up.