CALLING FOR THE RELEASE OF UKRAINIAN FIGHTER PILOT NADIYA SAVCHENKO; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 24
(Senate - February 12, 2015)

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[Pages S1010-S1011]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




  CALLING FOR THE RELEASE OF UKRAINIAN FIGHTER PILOT NADIYA SAVCHENKO

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Foreign Relations Committee be discharged from further consideration of 
S. Res. 52 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 52) calling for the release of 
     Ukrainian fighter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who was captured by 
     Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine and has been held illegally 
     in a Russian prison since July 2014.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I rise to discuss the plight of Ukrainian 
fighter pilot Nadiya Savchenko. My resolution, S. Res. 52., which 
Senators Wicker, Brown, Rubio, and Gardner have co-sponsored, calls for 
the release of former Ukrainian fighter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who has 
been languishing in Russian prisons since she was abducted by pro-
Russian forces in eastern Ukraine last July and illegally transferred 
across the border in handcuffs and with a bag over her head.
  In the 8 months Nadiya has been incarcerated on specious and 
unsubstantiated charges, she has endured interrogations, involuntary 
psychiatric evaluations, and solitary confinement in the same pretrial 
detention center where Sergei Magnitsky was tortured and killed in 
2009. The resolution is especially timely as Nadiya is in the 62nd day 
of a hunger strike. Her health is rapidly deteriorating. Her situation 
is critical. And yet, on Tuesday, a Moscow court extended her detention 
until May 13, ignoring clear evidence compiled by the defense proving 
her non-involvement in the deeds the Russian authorities claim as 
justification for holding her.
  Nadiya is yet another victim of the Putin regime's lawlessness, 
brutality, and contempt for human life. And we need to recognize that 
this isn't just about her; it's a highly visible manifestation of 
Putin's contempt for a Ukraine that wishes to remain free, independent, 
and democratic. She was elected in absentia to the Ukrainian parliament 
in October and a member of Ukraine's delegation to the Parliamentary 
Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE. As such, she enjoys diplomatic 
immunity and PACE has called for her immediate release.
  According to the September Minsk agreements between Russia and 
Ukraine, hostages on both sides were supposed to be released. Russia 
has made a mockery of the Minsk agreements, just as it has the Helsinki 
Final Act and numerous other Organization for Security and Cooperation 
in Europe, OSCE, agreements. The illegal detention of Nadiya and other 
Ukrainian citizens represents yet another violation of international 
agreements and the norms of civilized behavior. S. Res. 52 sends a 
strong message of solidarity to the Ukrainian people and calls on the 
Putin regime to release Nadiya immediately. I am pleased the Senate is 
poised to pass this important resolution.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Cardin 
amendment to the resolution be agreed to; the resolution, as amended, 
be agreed to; the preamble be agreed to; and the motions to reconsider 
be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action 
or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 251) in the nature of a substitute was agreed to, 
as follows:

              (Purpose: To provide a complete substitute)

       Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
     following: ``That the Senate--

[[Page S1011]]

       (1) condemns the Government of the Russian Federation for 
     its illegal imprisonment of Nadiya Savchenko;
       (2) calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to 
     immediately release Nadiya Savchenko;
       (3) calls on the United States, its European allies, and 
     the international community to aggressively support 
     diplomatic efforts to release Nadiya Savchenko; and
       (4) expresses solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

  The resolution (S. Res. 52), as amended, was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                               S. Res. 52

       Whereas Nadiya Savchenko is the first-ever female fighter 
     pilot in Ukraine's Armed Forces and is an Iraqi war veteran;
       Whereas in the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, Nadiya 
     Savchenko volunteered her services to the Ukrainian Aidar 
     battalion;
       Whereas Nadiya Savchenko was elected in absentia from the 
     Batkivshchyna Party to Ukraine's Parliament in October 2014, 
     and appointed to the Parliament Assembly of the Council of 
     Europe (PACE) as a representative from Ukraine;
       Whereas as a member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 
     Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko was conducting operations in 
     eastern Ukraine against pro-Russian forces in the summer of 
     2014 when she was captured and taken into captivity;
       Whereas during her mission in Eastern Ukraine, she was 
     captured by the Donbas People's Militia, detained on 
     Ukrainian territory, deprived of rights to due process, and 
     illegally transferred to the Russian Federation to stand 
     trial on unsubstantiated charges of terrorism;
       Whereas, since July 2014, Nadiya Savchenko has endured 
     involuntary psychiatric evaluations and solitary confinement;
       Whereas Nadiya Savchenko is currently entering her sixth 
     week of a hunger strike as a symbol of her protest;
       Whereas Nadiya Savchenko is denied access to urgently 
     needed medical attention and access to legal counsel;
       Whereas the Minsk Protocol of September 2014, signed by 
     Ukraine and the Russian Federation, calls for the ``immediate 
     release of all hostages and illegally held persons'';
       Whereas appeals have been made to the United Nations Human 
     Rights Council and the International Red Cross to secure 
     Nadiya Savchenko's release;
       Whereas the international community, including 
     representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council 
     of Europe (PACE) and of the United States, have urged her 
     immediate release;
       Whereas, on January 26, 2015, the opening day of the 
     Parliamentary Assembly, the global community embarks on a 
     public campaign to bring attention to the plight of Nadiya 
     Savchenko and demand her immediate release; and
       Whereas the Government and people of the United States 
     express concern about the deteriorating health of detained 
     pilot Nadiya Savchenko and her continued illegal 
     imprisonment: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) condemns the Government of the Russian Federation for 
     its illegal imprisonment of Nadiya Savchenko;
       (2) calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to 
     immediately release Nadiya Savchenko;
       (3) calls on the United States, its European allies, and 
     the international community to aggressively support 
     diplomatic efforts to release Nadiya Savchenko; and
       (4) expresses solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

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