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Convicted Ukrainian Pilot Savchenko Ends Hunger Strike

Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko

Ukrainian army pilot Nadezhda Savchenko has ended her hunger strike, her lawyer Ilya Novikov wrote on social media Tuesday.

Savchenko has been on a dry hunger strike since April 6 in protest of a 22 year prison sentence handed to her by a Russian court last month. She had been found guilty of killing two Russian reporters during the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. She denies the charge.

Savchenko took the decision to end the hunger strike after a “historic phone conversation” with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said Novikov on his Twitter account.

Poroshenko also welcomed the move. “Together with her mother and sister, [I] have asked Nadya to end the strike. Thank you [Savchenko] that you agreed,” he wrote on Twitter.

Savchenko's trial and imprisonment has been called illegal by Ukraine and condemned by a number of Western leaders.

On Tuesday, the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his his Ukrainian counterpart Poroshenko discussed the fate of Savchenko and two Russian nationals, Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexandr Alexandrov, convicted in Ukraine. On Monday, the two men were sentenced to 14 years in prison on terrorism charges.

After the talks, Poroshenko said he “managed to agree [with Putin] on a specific process for Savchenko's release.” The Kremlin confirmed Savchenko was discussed during the talks with Poroshenko but didn't provide any further details.

Earlier on Tuesday, the lawyers of Yerofeyev and Alexandrov said they would not appeal the court verdict, the Interfax news agency reported.

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