Ukraine pilot returned home following exchange for two Russian nationals

World Today

A Ukrainian pilot kept in Russia was back home in exchange for two Russian nationals held by Ukraine.

CCTV’s Julia Lyubova reports from Moscow.

Ukraine pilot returned home following exchange for two Russian nationals

A Ukrainian pilot kept in Russia was back home in exchange for two Russian nationals held by Ukraine. CCTV's Julia Lyubova reports from Moscow.

“I want to ask for forgiveness all mothers whose children did not return from the fronts of anti-terrorist operations, because I am still alive. I want to ask for forgiveness mothers whose children are in captivity because I am free,” Nadiya Savchenko, who became a symbol of resistance against Russia, is back in Ukraine said.

Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in jail by a Russian court for her alleged involvement in the deaths of two Russian journalists in Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Ukraine and the West had repeatedly called for Savchenko’s release and a prisoner exchange had been anticipated.

Two Russian nationals, Yevgeny Yerofeyev and Alexander Alexandrov, swapped for Savchenko are now back in Russia.

Both were sentenced in Ukraine to 14 years in jail last month after being found guilty of terrorist activities.

While in Russian jail, Nadezhda Savchenkoshe was elected in absence to Ukraine’s parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Her release is likely to ease tensions between Moscow and the West just a few weeks before the European Union decides whether to extend sanctions against Russia.