Russian President Vladimir Putin may well regret the decision to put Nadiya Savchenko on trial for murder.

MOSCOW The Russian trial of a Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko, was interrupted for a violate because the prosecutor felt sick, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday. The accused, on the other hand, was doing just fine. In the defendants glass box, the 34 -year-old wore a black shirt with a white trident, Ukraines national emblem, and said she was ready to proceed any time with a trial in which shes accused of murdering two Russian journalists. If convicted, her sentence could be anywhere from eight years to life.

We Ukrainians are not slaves, we fight for our freedom .

Its been a long, tough year for Savchenko, but also for her Russian accusers. She has been on multiple hunger strikes, even on a dry one, without water. Her only family in the courtroom on Wednesday, younger sister Vera, was also under an accusation for wailing at a judge. But Savchenko looked calm, anything but beaten. She smiled when she saw Vera, who seemed as a witness wearing the same shirt as Savchenkos, but white with a black trident on her chest. Vera enters, Ukrainian anthem plays, Savchenko joked happily, greeting her sister and dismissing the gloomy faces of security officers, according to a transcript of the trial published by the website Media Zona.

Everything about Nadiya Savchenko is a statement, the declaration of a fighter going to war: The strong posture of a trained soldier, the firm look in her piercing blue eyes, her remarks, even her jokes. Savchenko, their own nationals hero in her home country, an foe and defendant in Russia, simply maintains smiling, and thanks reporters and foreign diplomats for coming.

Before the Russia-Ukrainian conflict in Crimea and Donbass, Savchenko was little known in the wider world, but Ukraine knew about her as its only woman veteran of the war in Iraq, where Ukrainian troops served as part of the coalition of the willing.

Then, in June 2014, by her account, she was captured while serving in eastern Ukraine and turned over to Russian officials. They accused her of being involved in the death of two Russian journalists. The arrest built her world famous.

Ukrainian activists and politicians put Savchenko on their flags, elected her in absentia to the country parliament. Top legislators discussed her fate. This week Savchenkos lawyer were publicly debating the best route to use U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden to negotiate a captive exchange. Speaking in Kiev, Biden promised he would tell the world about Nadiya Savchenko.

As the trial continuedon Thursday, witnesses were questioned about how, precisely, Savchenko ended up in Russia. One defense witness, Nadiyas sister Vera, told the court about the day pro-Russian rebels incarcerated Savchenko in Donbass, and how her sister vanished later. Another defense witness, Vladimir Ruban, a Ukrainian general responsible for swapping captives of war, “was talkin about a” his negotiations trying to free Savchenko in the rebel-controlled territories. He found it hard to believe the official version, that rebels let Savchenko go and she intersected the Russian border by mistake.

Such anomalous accusations have led to comparings between Shavchenkos trial and those of some other famous Russians considered to be railroaded by the authorities, like billionaire Putin opponent Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the activists of Pussy Riot.

Svetova recollected the words she heard from the pilot at one of their multiple meetings in jail: We Ukrainians are not slaves, we fight for our freedom, Savchenko said.

There are 10 Ukrainian cases in Russia at the moment, Svetova added, but Savchenkos is the most well known by far. She is the most famous political prisoner because she is a woman who is melting to bones on hunger strikes, Svetova said.

It was the rejection of injustice that motivated Savchenko to go on hunger strike, Svetova said. Though she realise how useless it was to try and pushing Putin that way, a hunger strike was the only route she knew to maintain her innocence.

Savchenko insisted she had nothing to do with the deaths of Russian reporters Anton Boloshin and Igor Kornelyuk. She told reporters that maybe one day she had killed someone innocent in Iraq, which she was willing to go on trial for, but not for the two Russian reporters, who she insisted “shes never” killed.

When a prosecutor made a comment about Savchenko yelling in court on Wednesday, she sharply waved to him with an open palm, as if telling, Calm down. The prosecutor threatened to remove Savchenko from the courtroom for her behaviour, to which the defendant answered she would begin a new hunger strike.

For Russian officials in prisons, courts, hospitals, Savchenko is like a hot potato that nobody wants to hold for too long. In Russia even some hard humen have admitted that the Ukrainian pilots character is made of iron. In her previous hunger strike, last winter, she lost 15 pounds before Russian authorities realise it would be scandalous to see Savchenko die of hunger in a Russian jail.

Savchenkos lawyers said he hoped that the Kremlin will extradite the pilot to Ukraine, since shell be about as hard to handle as Pussy Riot in any Russian complex that tries to hold her.

The courts verdict is expected before the end of this year.

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