Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Seeks Crimea Land Route for Savchenko Release – SBU Official

Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko

An official from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) claimed Russia had been asking for a land route to Crimea in exchange for releasing Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, according to an interview with the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper published Monday.

Yuriy Tandyt, an adviser to the SBU chief, said Moscow was unwilling to exchange Savchenko for Russian servicemen captured in eastern Ukraine because Russian authorities “wanted more.” The request for a land route to Crimea was put forward by an official “close to the Kremlin,” Tandyt said, Novaya Gazeta reported.

“We need you to also meet us halfway,” Tandyt quoted the Russian official as saying. “We need a stable connection to Crimea, so we could carry cargo there, passengers.”

Tandyt said he told the Russian official that Ukraine had no plans to “trade a princess for half a kingdom” at a time when scores of Western politicians and activists have been calling for Savchenko's release. But he maintained that Ukraine was “ready for any compromises.”

Russia accuses Savchenko of abetting the killing of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists are fighting Kiev government forces. A city court in southern Russia has begun sentencing proceedings.

The head of Russia's presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, said Monday that prisoner exchange will only be possible after the sentence comes into force.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more