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Poroshenko Seeks to Trade 2 Russian Detainees for Savchenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would hand over two Russian citizens detained in Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, who has been sentenced to 22 years in prison, the Meduza news agency reported Tuesday.

Poroshenko has not named the Russian detainees, but the news agency said that he was referring to Yevgeny Yerofeev and Alexander Alexandrov, who are currently on trial in Ukraine on terrorism charges, Meduza reported.

According to Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised to hand Savchenko over to Ukrainian authorities at the conclusion of her trial.

The Ukrainian president described Savchenko's trial as "a disgraceful tribunal that the aggressor country staged against a Ukrainian officer with a capital letter," Meduza reported.

"Ukraine will never — I emphasize once again, never! — recognize either this tribunal or their so-called verdict that, through its absurdity and cruelty, indicates the return of the Russian justice in the time of Stalin-Vyshinsky," Poroshenko said.

He said that personal sanctions — both Ukrainian and international — should be imposed against all those involved in the prosecution of Savchenko, Meduza reported.

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