http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/op-ed-the-ukraine-s-joan-of-ark-serves-in-helicopter/article/396032

Op-Ed: Ukraine’s Joan of Arc serves in helicopter

Posted Aug 9, 2014 by Robert Weller
A Ukrainian air force lieutenant held in a Russian prison for nearly two months has become the nation’s Joan of Ark only she rides in a chopper.
U.S. Information Service photo of Ukrainian pilot held hostage by Russia
U.S. Information Service photo of Ukrainian pilot held hostage by Russia
U.S. Information Agency
Lt. Nadezhda Savchenko, reportedly was captured by Russian proxies in the eastern Ukraine on June 17.
The Kiev Post said she is being held across the border in a Russian prison in Voronezh.
The U.S. government has published photos of her.
“From President Petro Poroshenko down to the girls and young women who say Savchenko has inspired them, Ukraine is following the strange twists of her captivity and demanding her release from a Russian prison where she turned up under mysterious circumstances,” The Washington Post reports.
Yes, there is a Twitter campaign: #SaveOurGirl.”
Russian officials have refused to release her on 500,000 rubles bail. A Russian judge rejected claims by her lawyers, the same firm that defends Pussy Riot, that she had been abducted. The judge accepted a prosecutor’s claim that she had slipped over the border and been found in a forest.
Moscow has accused Savchenko of being involved in the murder of Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine.
It is the latest public display of Russia’s involvement in the operations of Russian separatists who are accused of kidnapping her and handing her over to President Vladimir Putin’s government.
Putin, despite claims that he is an accomplished, slick KGB agent, has been caught time after time breaking promises he made. He denied Russian troops had been sent into Crimea, and later praised them for their professional takeover of the Ukraine territory.
Savchenko’s sister, Vira, published a letter from the prison cell: "Now there are too many tricks on the geopolitical (stage). I would really be against becoming a political toy. I believe Ukraine will be able to amaze the world."
"I'm reading books, 500 pages a day. I've never thought I'd able to do this. Overall, I don't like reading too much," she said about her life in Russian prison.
Savchenko is among a growing number of Ukrainian women joining the military, overcoming traditional resistance to them being in combat. It is the kind of thing Putin would see as another plot from Brussels and NATO.
She was rejected three times in efforts to join the Ukrainian Air Force University but after joining the Army managed to become a helicopter navigator and gunner. She hopes to become a jet pilot.