Ukraine crisis: Foreign Ministry claims pilot was abducted and taken to Russian prison by pro-Moscow rebels

Nadiya Savchenko is accused of taking part in an attack in which two Russian journalists were killed by mortar fire

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The Independent Online

A Ukrainian army pilot has turned up in a Russian prison accused of complicity in the murder of two Russian journalists after allegedly being abducted in her home country and taken over the border.

Nadiya Savchenko, 33, a helicopter pilot, is accused of taking part in an attack on a checkpoint set up by pro-Russian separatists near Luhansk in Ukraine last month in which the two journalists were killed by mortar fire.

Russian authorities said she was detained after she crossed the border illegally and of her own accord while disguised as a refugee.

Its Investigative Committee has accused her of telling Ukraine’s military where the journalists were before the fatal attack.

However BBC News reported that she was thought to have been captured by the pro-Moscow rebels.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, which demanded her release, said she was then taken over the border by her rebel captors.

“This is yet more confirmation that the terrorists plan and carry out their crimes in Ukraine in close contact with the intelligence services of the Russian Federation,” it said in a statement.

“By openly abducting citizens of Ukraine on the territory of their state, the Russian authorities not only violate all international norms but also exceed elementary norms of decency and morality.”