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Savchenko extradition is underway - lawyers

Savchenko extradition is underway - lawyers
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By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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The Ukrainian pilot is serving 22 years in connection with the deaths of two Russian journalists

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Lawyers acting for a Ukrainian pilot jailed in Russia say a procedure to extradite her has begun.

Nadezhda Savchenko was sentenced to 22 years in jail on March 22.

The leaders of Ukraine and Russia have reportedly agreed on a prisoner-swap deal.

It means Savchenko could be back in Ukraine in weeks.

What was she on trial for?

#savchenko getting ready for extraditionhttps://t.co/leZW709qWOpic.twitter.com/BRcRb1jZLr

— UKRAINE TODAY (@uatodaytv) April 27, 2016

A court in Russia found her guilty of involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists during the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

She was charged with directing mortar fire which killed the two men.

The 34-year-old denies any responsibility.

What do Ukrainians think of her?

Vira #Savchenko visited today. Reports Nadiya's been given documents to fill in, re her extradition. #FreeSavchenkopic.twitter.com/APTiyDebL0

— Glasnost Gone (@GlasnostGone) April 27, 2016

She is regarded by many in her homeland as a national hero and symbol of resistance to Russia.

Relations with Moscow are at an all-time low after the 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Russia is also backing separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

And what about the Russians?

Moscow agrees to release pilot Savchenko, Ukraine says — by swapping her for two Russians https://t.co/YiPZ1gxrI9pic.twitter.com/Z5eFgCKVA9

— POLITICO Europe (@POLITICOEurope) April 19, 2016

For many, Savchenko is a Ukrainian nationalist with civilians’ blood on her hands.

She was captured by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine in June 2014, at the height of fighting between Ukrainian forces and the separatists.

How can Savchenko be extradited?

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed the framework of a deal to secure Savchenko’s extradition.

Ukraine's president says he has reached deal with Russian President Putin to release jailed Ukrainian pilot: https://t.co/3ljubnydRp

— The Associated Press (@AP) April 19, 2016

The sentencing of two Russian servicemen in Ukraine earlier this month has fuelled speculation that a prisoner exchange is on the cards.

What they are saying

“I have received Savchenko’s statement agreeing to be extradited to serve her term in Ukraine..I believe that the procedure has started.” – Lawyer Mark Feygin says the process could take up to two months.

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