Ukraine Live Day 617: Nadezhda Savchenko’s Lawyer Says She Will Be Returned To Ukraine In New Year

October 27, 2015
Nadezhda Savchenko in court on October 22. Photo: Yevgeny Feldman

Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

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For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.

Trukhanov Declared Victor in Odessa Mayoral Race; Opposition Bloc Takes Majority of Kramatorsk City Council

The Odessa City Electoral Commission has finished counting the vote in Odessa, and Hennadiy Trukhanov, the incumbent has won 52.57% of the votes in Odessa, the Territorial Electoral commission announced, which means he may win the mayoral election without a second round of voting, RIA Novosti reported.

Trukhanov, a  captain in the Soviet army who served in the North Cacausus, formerly worked in a private security firm and at Lukoil’s Ukrainian branch, and was Party of Regions representative in the Verkhovna Rada or national parliament in 2012. He was elected after violent clashes between Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russian activists last year which led to the tragic death of 46 people in a fire in the trade union building.

Trukhanov’s main rival was Sasha Borovik, an advisor to Mikheil Saakashvili, governor of Odessa and former president of Georgia. Borovik was said to get 8.51% of the vote and businessman Sergei Kivalov, 5.63%.

Earlier, Kivalov was called out by Saakashvili for manipulation of the elections, Odessa blogger Nikolai Holmov reported.

Trukhanov’s likely victory prompted Saakashvili and Borovik himself to claim fraud in the elections. Aleksei Goncharenko, chairman of the Solidarity Petro Poroshenko Bloc demanded a re-count of the ballots in the mayoral race.

While the votes are counted in most areas, the final report on the elections will not be made until November 4, and it remains to be seen whether complaints about fraud in Odessa, for example, would force a second round.

Meanwhile, as we reported yesterday,
there are indications of a split between pro-Russian and pro-Kiev
forces in a number of areas.  According to an election results site, in Kramatorsk, a town taken over by
separatists in 2014 and then wrested back by the Ukrainian military, Opposition Bloc was set to take 24 seats in Our Land 10 seats, Solidarity Petro Poroshenko, Bloc 10 seats and Party of Pensioners 3 seats.

In Slavyansk, Samopomich appeared to be taking the most seats; Svoboda got 0 votes.

In Dnipropetrovsk, Opposition Bloc’s candidate for mayor, Oleksandr Vilkul had an edge over the Ukrop candidate Boris Filatov associated with oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
Military Confirms One Ukrainian Soldier Killed Last Night

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, has confirmed to reporters that one Ukrainian soldier was killed during fighting near Donetsk yesterday.

As we reported yesterday, Russian-backed forces were reported to have fired on Ukrainian positions near Peski and Opytnoye, north-west of the separatist-held city.

According to the ATO Press Centre, the attack lasted from 17:25 to 18:10. The fire came from the direction of separatist-held Donetsk Airport.

Meanwhile there is no confirmation so far of reports, from Belarusian volunteer fighters on the Ukrainian side, that eight soldiers had in fact been killed.

— Pierre Vaux
Nadezhda Savchenko’s Lawyer Says She Will Be Returned To Ukraine In New Year

Mark Feygin, a lawyer representing Nadezhda Savchenko, has tweeted that he believes his client will be returned home to Ukraine at the end of the year.

Translation: Left the jail in Novocherkassk. Nadezhda sends her greetings to everyone. Freedom is closer than it seems. Savchenko will head home in the new year.

Nadezhda Savchenko is a former Ukrainian military officer and now MP who was fighting with the Aidar battalion in Lugansk last summer when she was captured by separatist fighters. She was then illegally transported to Russia where she is on trial for the alleged murder of two state television journalists. She and her lawyers deny all charges and say that she was in fact captured before the journalists were killed.

— Pierre Vaux