A Russian judge on Monday said Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko was complicit in the killing of two Russian journalists. Nathan Frandino reports.
In a Russian courtroom Monday, the fate of Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko hangs by a thread. She is charged with directing mortar fire which killed two Russian journalists in June 2014 during the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. Though the court has not issued a formal verdict, judge Leonid Stepanenko says that Savchenko did kill the two journalists. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) JUDGE, LEONID STEPANENKO, SAYING: "That means she deliberately inflicted death on two people, in a way that bears menace to the public with a group of people by previous consent, motivated by hatred and enmity toward a social group." Savchenko has denied wrongdoing and has vowed to fight whatever verdict is reached. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) DETAINED PILOT, NADEZHDA SAVCHENKO (AUDIO AS INCOMING), SAYING: "I'm going to keep my lawyers and I ask them to continue to publicize my case publicly and politically." Her lawyers expect a formal verdict later Monday or Tuesday. Ukraine hails Savchenko as a national hero, though here in Russia, state TV has depicted the pilot as a dangerous Ukrainian nationalist with the blood of civilians on her hands.