Nadia Savchenko was today released from her Russian prison cell and flew into Boryspil Airport in Kyiv where she was welcomed by her mother and sister.  The Ukrainian pilot then addressed a mass of waiting journalists.

UNIAN's correspondent takes up the story.

"I thank all of the people for fighing for me and for everyone," said Savchenko.

She pointed out that her survival was inspired by the support that she had received, and also by thoughts of those who wished her harm, saying "to spite you, I survived. And I want to say thank you to those who were indifferent! Thank you for not interfering."

Before being rushed away to the Presidential Administration, Savchenko told reporters: "Believe me, I will answer all your questions, the most treacherous ones, the best ones. Trust me, I'm not afraid of anything..."

Savchenko also apologized to all mothers whose children had not returned from the war in Eastern Ukraine or who remain in captivity. "I am free! ...I want to tell you: I will not return the dead, but I am always ready to give my life on the battlefield for Ukraine. I will do everything possible for every child who is now in captivity to see freedom!"

In a clear reference to Ukraine's politicians Savchenko added:  "All of the heroes of Ukraine must not die. It is comfortable when the heroes are dead. It is bad when they are alive, it’s bad for everyone. But we will live, and there will be heroes in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine... The heroes will be the envy of the Russian Duma, and they will glorify Ukraine, in gratitude to the Ukrainian people. Our Verkhovna Rada will consist of those who are worthy... We will live in Ukraine as people should live, with dignity."

On hearing of her realease the UK's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

"Nadiya Savchenko’s release from prison in Russia, and her return to Ukraine, is welcome news. The British Government has consistently pressed Russia for her release. This brings an end to over 22 months of illegal, politically motivated detention in Russia, during which Ms Savchenko has shown remarkable courage and resilience.

"Russia needs to honour its commitments under the Minsk agreements, which make clear that all illegally detained persons must be released."

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister for Europe, David Lidington tweeted: "Pleased & relieved that Nadiya #Savchenko is free & back home in Ukraine"


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