Maidan, ATO, and captivity: Confession of Nadiya Savchenko
What Nadiya Savchenko told at the trial
Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko narrated on her service in the army and her imprisonment at hearing in the City Court of Donetsk, Rostov region of Russia .
Savchenko told she was born on May 11, 1981. She got a profession of designer of women's clothing, in absentia studied philosophy and journalism. Her service in the army began in 2003 in Ukrainian railway troops, then in air forces. For six months she served in peacekeeping mission in Iraq. Then, Nadiya studied for 3 years and 4 months in Kharkiv University of the Air Force. She finished university as a flight operator of Su-24, but was sent to serve on Mi-24 aircraft.
112.ua chose the most interesting answers of Nadiya Savchenko.
I attended Maidan when I had opportunity and time, because I was working at that time, I was serving. I came there, when I had a weekend, or time off, or vacation. I came to Maidan at my own free will. It was the will of my people and my own. I think it is absolutely right that tyrants, with ambitions and scope to capture the whole world, do not have to lead people. Therefore, I fully supported my people in the desire to live gracefully, free and fair, that is why I was going to Maidan. I came there when I had time.
All dates I do not remember [when Nadiya was on the Maidan - ed.] But it was January 19, on hard frosts, then February 20, 21, 22.
There I helped people to stay, to exist. I substituted on someone`s duty at the stove. In those days, which were full of events, on January 19, when it all started, I tried to stop it until it was possible. I tried to talk to the soldiers and Interior Ministry people who were standing opposite to us. When it was impossible to stop, I was just trying to monitor the situation, to do everything possible.
On February 21 and 22, I mainly engaged in the provision of medical care.
All people have a right to be wrong. It was very hard because, actually, all of this started from Crimea. It was difficult to understand, especially for people of my profession. Officer`s task is not, as you say, to kill civilians with hatred, but to protect own territory and fulfill the oath which was given to his people. At the lower level, it is very difficult to come through, because the decisions are made by the higher authorities. There was no decision, which is why it was difficult for people to overcome all that.
It was hard for the guys with whom I once served, who were standing in Crimea, who then were left in Crimea. I do not have any hatred for them or any other feelings at all. In this regard, I use the concept of separation of people. I would not do so, but as a human, I was not going to condemn them. We will not consider the political point of view. Of course, we all understand that Crimea was just occupied, and how it happened did not concern the case. Although I know perfectly how Russian troops were working, and how everything happened. It relates to me, to the formation of my personality, my biography, because I am here not without this matter. If there was not Crimea, there would not be the war in Donbas.
I think these people are very much mistaken. All of them are Ukrainians, they just forgotten about it. People are very easily influenced by dishonest media, propaganda. I often saw provocations in Donbas, which were held by pro-Russian people, Russian media, the Chechens and other, not Ukrainian people, who helped and taught Ukrainians how to act. To these people I refer as... all of them are Ukrainians, they are simply wrong. Those who came to my land as mercenaries, well, the judgment would be for them. People sometimes earn money in such a way.
I do not treat to anyone with an aggression. I believe they are wrong, I will prove it to them in the battle, I was proving and will continue to prove.
About the participation in the ATO
After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, it was very hard for Ukrainian army. Who is the military, who serves - he will understand me. It is difficult to not be able to protect own land. This phenomenon is very complex. The anti-terrorist operation started, the decisions were made at the top, but as a military, I was taught not to perform criminal orders. I believe that it is a crime when there is a war in your land, when your people are attacked by the enemy; however, the military serviceman is sent on vacation or a business trip. I gave my oath not to betray my people. So I made an independent decision to participate in the ATO.
Since my commander did not give me such permission, I wrote a report on the transfer to any part where I will have such opportunity. I was sent on vacation, and during the vacation I went there where are my people, where I can be useful.
The first military unit which was in my way was the battalion, as it is called Aydar. This is actually a military unit of Ukrainian Armed Forces. There were guys I knew and I saw that there would be benefit from me.
It was in the morning, before lunch. When they captured me, it was about 10:30 am. But when I was brought to Luhansk, on the clock hung on the wall was 12. I asked whether the time was Kyiv or Moscow? All of them smiled and said that our time was Moscow time. Almost at 11 am I was in Luhansk.
During the capture, I was under the search, they took away all I had, only the phone was not found, it remained with me. When I was brought up to Luhansk, the phone rang…and battalion “Zoria” commander took this phone and said that guys searched me badly.
They brought me to the recruitment officet, enchained me to the sports equipment, other guys were brought to the next room and were enchained to some weights. We were there about a day.
On the second day, journalists from TV channel, it seems to be "LifeNews" came to us and then told that Russian journalists were killed. By this time I even had no idea that anyone was killed in that area and that there were Russian journalists.
The first days were unbearable, of course. They came at night after the battle, beat the guys saying that they will leave me as a final titbit, that they would get to me. But when they went out of guys, they did not beat me. They did not come anymore and continue to treat us as usual.
About prison transfer to Russia
It was a week later, on July 23, at 06:00 pm according to the clock that hung on the wall that was Moscow time. They started to move me out.
Almost for 40 minutes we were going, then stopped, transferred to another car and drove another 10-15 minutes. There we went to some lawn, separatists came out and said that we would wait here, because we could not drive further. On the lawn from the forest came two persons with guns, they absolutely did not understand the Ukrainian language. They greeted separatists and I was given to them, also some file and my phone.
They talked [in the car - ed.], complained on the government, on life, told about their big plans to fight on the border with Romania, to occupy the whole of Ukraine, that Russia would provide with weapons, and so on...
As long as I was not kidnapped, I have never been to Russia. I never saw and never hold Russian money in my hand. I did not have any money at all. During the whole week I could not get out anywhere. I was constantly guarded by two armed men in masks.
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