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Savchenko Swap 'May Not Happen' – Lawyer

Russian citizens Alexander Alexandrov (R) and Yevgeny Yerofeyev who were detained on May 16 by Ukrainian forces, look on from a defendants' cage as they attend a court hearing in Kiev, Ukraine, Sept. 29, 2015.

The lawyer for two Russian soldiers jailed in Ukraine says that a proposed swap between the pair and Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko may not happen, the RBC news outlet reported.

Olga Sokolovskaya, who represents Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeev, said in an interview to Radio Free Europe that the swap would only take place if the prisoners were granted pardons by the respective presidents of Russia and Ukraine.

“Ukraine needs to recognize Savchenko's verdict and Russia needs to do the same with Erofeev and Alexandrov,” Sokolovskaya said. “It's obvious that neither side will do that.” She said that she doubted that that the agreements would ever be implemented.

Nadiya Savchenko was given a prison sentence of 22 years by a court in Rostov on charges of involvement in killing Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine.

Russian soldiers Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeev were sentenced to 14 years in prison by a court in Kiev for “participation in armed aggression against Ukraine.”

On Wednesday, Savchenko's lawyer Mark Feygin wrote on Twitter that Nadiya's mother had not been allowed to see her daughter in prison on her birthday. “Once again, 78-year-old Maria Ivanovna will not be able to wish her daughter Nadiya a happy birthday,” he wrote.

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