The rise and fall of Nadiya Savchenko ·Euromaidan Press |

The rise and fall of Nadiya Savchenko

A mural in Zaporizhzhia picturing Nadiya Savchenko from the days she was in Russian prison during 2014-2016 was plastered over by an advertisement of a law firm when she was detained on accusation of plotting a coup and terrorist act within the Ukrainian parliament in March 2018. Photo: 061.ua 

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Nadiya Savchenko, once hailed as a Ukrainian hero standing up to Putin himself, has been arrested on accusations of a coup and terrorist act. Could the fall have been any deeper? And how could this happen?

Nadiya Savchenko, the once-legendary Ukrainian pilot heroically resisting a show trial in Russian jail who was propelled into the Ukrainian political scene after being released in 2016, managed to turn herself into an outcast, and, possibly, criminal. On 23 March 2018, less than two years after she was freed from Russian captivity after immense Ukrainian and international efforts, she was detained in Ukraine on accusations of preparing a coup and planning to blow up the parliament – and the accusations look pretty convincing.

Read more: Ex-Kremlin prisoner Savchenko detained on accusation of coup and terror plot: the evidence

Now the people who two years ago rallied all over the world to free her ask each other how they could be so foolish, what political forces created the Savchenko project, and decry the media who manipulated them into becoming Savchenko activists. Was it all an intricately elaborated scam to bring a Trojan horse into Ukrainian politics? Conversely, a small proportion of Savchenko supporters say Nadiya was framed by the Ukrainian authorities and her new trial is a political repression. Yet others allege she is merely an ill-tempered, not particularly wise woman who imagined herself as a messiah.

Euromaidan Press is one of the outlets which contributed to Savchenko’s popularity from the beginning. It would be only fair if today we reflected on the Savchenko phenomenon which we helped create.

The rise to glory

#FreeSavchenko, by Mariya Diordichuk

A picture for the #FreeSavchenko campaign by Mariya Diordichuk

It was the summer of 2014 and I was meeting a diplomatic friend to discuss what could bring world attention to Ukraine and the Russian aggression plaguing it. The Euromaidan revolution had won but there had been no time to celebrate: immediately after disgraced President Yanukovych fled Kyiv, Russia started its takeover of Crimea and spurred up pro-Russian uprisings in southeastern Ukraine, followed by outright war with the help of separatist forces in Donbas. Most countries did not recognize the annexation of Crimea, but few extended their support beyond that. The start of the war in Donbas drew the attention of international media, but protracted conflicts tend to bore audiences with their repetitiveness sooner or later. What could be done to remind global readers that Russia is still waging a war in Ukraine?

The figure of Nadiya Savchenko seemed to fit the role perfectly. A woman who defied odds and rules to become a military pilot in Ukraine. A patriot who volunteered to fight in a volunteer battalion against Russian hybrid forces in Donbas, who was kidnapped to Russia on 24 June 2014, falsely accused of crimes and was challenging Vladimir Putin himself with her bold behavior in captivity. Isn’t that the true Ukrainian spirit of self-reliance, courage, and resistance? If only she could be more known internationally.

In August 2014, the Ukrainian MFA launched a video project about the woman. She was already popular enough in Ukraine in October 2014, having been made a headliner of the Batkivshchyna party, apparently to gain votes in the early parliamentary elections that month. Her media-savvy lawyer Mark Feygin, who earlier represented the interests of political prisoners from the punk band Pussy Riot, suggested that as part of the strategy of her release, Savchenko is made a delegate to PACE from Ukraine.

Nadiya Savchenko became part of Batkivshchyna's electoral campaign. Here, party leader Yuliya Tymoshenko is seen speaking in front of a billboard showing Nadiy Savchenko

Nadiya Savchenko became part of Batkivshchyna’s electoral campaign. Here, party leader Yuliya Tymoshenko is seen speaking in front of a billboard showing Savchenko

But the idea of Nadiya Savchenko as a Ukrainian heroine was also taking shape far away from Ukraine in the #FreeSavchenko tweets of @GlasnostGone, a British writer whose name is Alex King. Starting from November 2014, King started a relentless campaign in English to free the woman, despite not being Ukrainian and never being to Ukraine. 

I Follow World affairs, so naturally the situation in Crimea caught my eye; I found myself continually checking the BBC website for updates, and was stunned that the comments page was wall to wall Russian Trolls/Propaganda. I started fighting for Ukraine on the comments page, and the desire to help Ukraine grew. I continued on twitter,” Alex explained his motivation for the campaign to me. Ukrainian translators helped expand his campaign into Ukrainian media.

Savchenko went on a hunger strike on 13 December 2014, drawing additional publicity. Alex King and supporters on twitter held the first #FreeSavchenko twitter storm on 5 January 2015. It resulted in over 80,000 mentions of the hashtag and was supported by politicians, including then US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. This for the first time drew the attention of western journalists, who asked US Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki a question about Savchenko.

Read more: The #FreeSavchenko campaign: from hashtag to PACE resolution;
Why the world calls to #FreeSavchenko

King’s twitter efforts continued, as did Savchenko’s hunger strike. Articles in western media started to appear one by one. Another twitter storm was held on 26 January 2015, when Savchenko was accepted as a PACE member with the corresponding immunity, and a resolution was adopted calling upon Russia to release all political prisoners and prisoners of war, including Savchenko.

That day, 56 rallies were held around the world in support of the pilot. Alex pushed for one million #FreeSavchenko tweets – a task which was eventually overaccomplished – by appealing to “people power,” by creating emotive and creative pictures which would make any PR manager turn green with envy.

One of the pictures by @GlasnostGone

Savchenko held her hunger strike, the tension grew. On 1 March 2015, the 79th day of her hunger strike, another twitter storm and day of global support was held. And on 11 May, yet another one. On 15 December 2015, Savchenko went on a hunger strike again, and more days for support were held: on 9 March 2016 (with 130 rallies worldwide) and 21-22 March 2016.

The amount of grassroots support was overwhelming. The pictures, rallies, videos from those days give the impression that the whole world came together to rally for a Ukrainian woman in Russian jail – see for yourself in the links to the twitter storms.

Leaflets were translated and handed out in different countries. #FreeSavchenko lanterns were sent to the sky near the Russian embassy in Tbilisi and mobile wifi hotspots in New York displayed #FreeSavchenko signs. MEPs launched hunger strikes in solidarity with her and sent letters to Putin, and diplomats – birthday cards. Diplomatic missions all over the world tweeted #FreeSavchenko. The opposition-minded Russians joined in the #FreeSavchenko action too. Many of them ended up in police departments.

Savchenko as Joan of Arc. One of the artistic creations reflecting Savchenko’s image while in Russian prison.

Savchenko became a symbol of the Good struggling against the Evil. Her effective hunger strikes, enfamished appearance, patriotic apparel, stubborn defiance in Russian courts, which included showing judges the middle finger, and her very name Nadiya, which translates to Ukrainian as hope, made her a national icon of hope. Hope that Putin’s regime will crumble, that the war will end, that Ukraine would be reborn.

For me personally, it was hope that the release of other Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails would follow Savchenko’s. But never did I have the impression that a dark hand was guiding our Free Savchenko efforts. Alex’s twitter creativity, the permanent interest of journalists, on-the-ground support of Ukrainian diaspora all over the world, the lawyers’ strategy of publicity, the efforts of Ukrainian officials, and Savchenko’s at times heroic behavior all came together. The #FreeSavchenko campaign had great success.

A falling star

Poroshenko gives Savchenko the award of Hero of Ukraine. Photo: president.gov.ua

Poroshenko gives Savchenko the award of Hero of Ukraine after her return from captivity. Photo: president.gov.ua

When she was swapped for two Russian officers captured at war in eastern Ukraine in May 2016, the joy was overwhelming. So was her political capital. She was the #1 MP in Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna party, a permanent member of Ukraine’s PACE delegation, was awarded Hero of Ukraine, and became a Chevalier of the Order “For Courage” of the second degree. In June 2016, Savchenko was the most popular politician in Ukraine, enjoying the trust of 35% of Ukrainians, while only 16% trusted President Poroshenko. 12% were ready to vote for her as president if the case of snap elections; only 6.4% would have chosen Poroshenko.

Those ratings fell rapidly. In February 2018, 9.9% of Ukrainians trusted her while 65.6% didn’t. Her presidential rating is now around 1%. Why did the national icon shed her national trust?

Upon her release, Savchenko announced she would initiate the creation of an international committee to free Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia. However, after only a few months, Savchenko reneged on that promise, claiming that she was already doing similar work by communicating with diplomats from other countries and telling them about her own vision of the problem.

Soon, she became mired in controversies. Her October 2016 surprise visit to Moscow in order to be present at the announcement of the verdict for Mykola Karpiuk and Stanislav Klykh, two Ukrainian political prisoners accused of fighting in Chechnya 20 years ago, was seen as rash by many, including her former lawyer Mark Feygin.

Savchenko’s public statements reinforcing Russian propaganda narratives, such as “Ukrainians will have to apologize [before the militias of the ‘LNR’ and ‘DNR’ – Ed] for the killed sons, husbands, fathers in Donbas,” as well as relentless criticism of the authorities, earned her the fame of a scandalous MP in Ukraine, but made her a Russian media star. She even made international headlines after making some unsavory antisemitic remarks on the air of a TV show. The public criticism didn’t dissuade her from launching her own political project in November 2016, in which she compared herself to a legendary Ukrainian dissident figure of the 1980’s, Viacheslav Chornovil: “May I become the fire which will burn out likewise, but will give Ukraine a future. I am ready for this.”

This was one of the many messianic statements emanating from Savchenko, in which she compared herself with great historical, and even biblical figures. “When Jesus came, many said they didn’t know Him” was the biblical allusion with which she chose to answer criticism in one TV show. The pathological desire to die for an idea peer out of many of her declarations. But while statements like “I was at two wars and am ready to die in the name of justice” sounded heroic during her hunger strike in Russian prison, in her role as a Ukrainian MP they hinted more of megalomania – and inadequacy. “It’s never scary to fight, live and die for the truth,” Savchenko once again told about her readiness to die when on 15 March 2018 she was accused of preparing a terrorist act within the walls of parliament.

"You can place a cook in the pilot's seat, but how will it end?" - a psychologist

“You can place a cook in the pilot’s seat, but how will it end?” – a psychologist. Photo shows Nadiya Savchenko in the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament). Credit: pravda.com.ua

Psychologists began evaluating Savchenko’s appearances right after her liberation, explaining her untypical behavior by the stress of being in a prison, the “specific psycho-type” of a truth fighter, by “sincerity and over-familiarity.” But new diagnoses appeared after each of her new escapades.

“A small-minded person can imagine herself as great. And it’s easy to manipulate her because of her great desire to stand out and be significant. You can place a cook in the pilot’s seat, but how will it end? A politician needs to have endurance, trickery, and intelligence,” the director of the Kyiv Center of neurolinguistic programming German Del told Mariana Karapinka of Ukrayiska Pravda.

Her calls to directly negotiate with the leaders of the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” (“LNR,” “DNR”) in June 2016 shocked many Ukrainians: after all, it was from the hands of “LNR” leader Ihor Plotnitskyi that she became a political prisoner in Russia. Moreover, Ukraine had refused to directly negotiate with representatives of the quasi-entities in Donbas in the Minsk peace process, regarding them not as independent actors but Russian puppets. The very Minsk agreements were concluded between Russia and Ukraine, not the “republics.”

So when in December 2016 Savchenko clandestinely traveled to Minsk to negotiate with Plotnitskyi and his “DNR” counterpart Zakharchenko, without informing the Ukrainian delegation, she was directly accused of playing into Russian interests. According to the sources of the Ukrainian outlet Liga.net, the meeting was held in the presence of the Russian FSB and was dedicated to ways of pressuring Ukrainian officials to deal with the “republics” directly.

Savchenko had many more meetings with representatives of Russia’s proxy republics in Donbas. Under the pretext of searching for Ukrainian hostages who were not included in the official exchange lists, she traveled to occupied Donbas many times, and eventually publicized her own list of hostages. Ukrainian Security Service advisor Yuriy Tandit called the list inaccurate, the move counterproductive, and claimed that it could harm the hostages’ families who now became a target for scammers aiming to make money from human suffering.

However, despite her frequent visits to the occupied territories, Nadiya Savchenko did not manage to release a single hostage. All the exchanges of Donbas war prisoners took place thanks to the efforts of official negotiators through the Minsk process.

The ex-political prisoner was so well-disposed toward her ex-military enemies that she was apparently ready to open a “DNR embassy” in Kyiv, in the style that they were popping up in EU countries to the protests of Ukrainian diplomats: propaganda focal points for the Russian proxy entities masquerading as “culture centers.” At least, that is what a journalistic experiment conducted by the Ukrainian TV channel TSN suggested. Then she, after receiving the first call from an unknown person who introduced himself as “a person of Zakharchenko,” without consulting anybody, rushed to a meeting to discuss opening up an “embassy” for the “DNR” and “LNR” in Kyiv, with the aim of legitimizing the “republics” inside Ukraine.

It was during those trips to the occupied Donbas that Savchenko and her partner Volodymyr Ruban apparently conspired to bring down the Ukrainian government with the help of weapons from the “DNR.” At least, that’s what the Ukrainian prosecutors say.

As of March 2018, Savchenko was excluded from the Batkivshchyna party which made her its headliner, even above the party leader Yuliya Tymoshenko, from Ukraine’s PACE delegation, from the Parliamentary committee on national security, and was stripped of parliamentary immunity on 23 March 2018, which allowed her to be arrested under accusation of plotting a coup and terror act.

“The phenomenon of Savchenko is that she became an outcast for the majority of the political powers,” believes political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. According to him, even the radically minded electorate won’t support Savchenko.

“She still has some fans but lost the absolute majority of them with her foolish actions and deeds. The majority of nationalists and militant patriots are very critical of her, first of all, because she established direct contact with the separatists, called for peace with the separatist republics. Not even with Russia, but with the separatists. And this is viewed negatively. There is even a popular opinion that she was recruited by Russian special services,” Fesenko summed up.

Bitterness and confusion

Nadiya Savchenko is on a hunger strike once gain. This time, protesting against the Ukrainian authorities. Photo: apostrophe.ua

Nadiya Savchenko is on a hunger strike once again. This time, protesting against the Ukrainian jurisdictions. Photo: apostrophe.ua

Nadiya Savchenko is now in a pre-trial detention center in Kyiv and is using the tactic she learned so well while in Russian prison – a hunger strike. She claims her statements about planning to blow up the Ukrainian parliament, which the prosecutor’s office had recorded on video, were a “political provocation” and that her arrest constitutes political persecution.

The myriads of those who rallied for her release two years ago are now bitter and confused. Especially those who made special efforts for her release.

“It’s a state of devastation. When you gave so much strength, nerves, to get her out, took this time away from your family and small children. And this devastation will be with me for a long time, and I don’t know if I will now have the strength to continue to give a part of myself to the victory of good when there is so much hatred today…” wrote Iryna Herashchenko, Ukraine’s special representative for the peaceful regulation of the conflict in Donbas.

Herashchenko was on the plane which took Savchenko home from Russian prison in 2016.

Mark Feygin, Savchenko’s ex-lawyer, told Ukrinform he is sorry to observe such an ending to the story and had privately warned Savchenko before that her actions undermine the release of other Ukrainian political prisoners, of which there are at least 66 to date.

“I call upon the Ukrainian investigators and judicial authorities to take into account everything that happened with Savchenko since 2014 when choosing a preventive measure: the prison, release, dizziness from attention, and human stupidity,” he said.

The Russian MFA is, however, happy, and does not miss a chance to take a jab at Savchenko supporters, reminding them where their heroine ended up.

The Savchenko story indeed undermines the release of Ukrainian political prisoners. It is unlikely that people would be willing to rally again for the release of the Kremlin’s 66 hostages in the way they did for Savchenko. Ukraine’s international partners are likely also left bewildered by the thoughtlessness with which Ukrainians choose their heroes.

What are the conclusions one must make from this story? References to the Second Commandment are popular when answering this question in Ukraine. Yet others say that creating heroes is inevitable, and even necessary, at a time of war. And that it’s even possible for the same person to have been a hero in prison and become a traitor two year later. Life is not black and white. We can’t see into the future.

Should we have rallied for the release of Nadiya Savchenko? Most say yes: she was a Ukrainian citizen illegally imprisoned by Russia and a political prisoner. What she did after her release is on her conscience. And the release of every Ukrainian held hostage by Russia should be fought for.

Was this all an elaborate plot to bring a Trojan horse into Ukrainian politics? I personally think that the chances of somebody like Nadiya Savchenko pulling off such an operation are too small, so uncontrolled, defiant, and reckless is she. As for planning to blow up the parliament, there, unfortunately, exists the populist belief that destroying the existing political order will fix Ukraine’s problems. As a “candidate of the people,” and a messianic one at that, who is to say this wasn’t her genuine, twisted plan to make the world a better place?

Perhaps the most important aspect of this story is that a woman with no experience, calling, or knowledge was skyrocketed into the echelons of the political elite without walking the necessary path. All because a political party hoped to harness the wave of Savchenko’s popularity. And from this angle, Savchenko’s painful fall from the clouds was inevitable.

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Comments

  1. Buddy Rugger says:

    Thank you for this.

    I freely admit that from all the information available, Nadiya appeared to be nothing worse than an honest Ukrainian. Her psychological condition was somewhat apparent from the start, but that is easily understandable, given the circumstances.
    No one expected her to be “sane”, but we saw her as a woman that was healing her trauma and possibly the trauma of her people through continued action, never resting long.
    From a foreigner’s perspective, the coverage of Savchenko went something like this;
    1) Prisoner, hero, symbol of tenacity in the face of Russian crimes.
    2) Symbol of hope, as her imprisonment forced the world to take notice of the continuing war, and the humans suffering in it – this was likely where she did the most good, if not all of the good that she actually accomplished.
    3) Even more hope as she was released, though as she walked defiantly free, her demeanor did seem a bit grandiose. Still, Tymoshenko is also known for her “stage face”, so it was overlooked as a minor quirk.
    4) Limited coverage of her actions while an MP led us to believe that she was either working quietly behind the scenes, or perhaps that she wasn’t doing particularly well in politics. That is forgivable, and indeed expected. She was a pilot, a POW, and despite her presence, she never seemed a likely politician. She had a fiery temper, like a soldier. We assumed she would lay low and either be groomed for the future life of a civil servant, or rest and be with family.
    5) Hostage negotiator, junior diplomat, and heroine to her people. This was about the only coverage I saw of her for about 6 months, if I recall correctly. As per her political ouster, it wasn’t unexpected. The Rada is known to be a volatile environment, and careers are expected to change like stock market fluctuations. She wasn’t meant to be a bureaucrat, at least I never thought so.
    6) A period of quiet, when it was assumed that she was either resting or settling into the grunt work of traveling and checking on other prisoners. This is where she was assumed to be when…
    7) Terrorist! Traitor! Turncoat! Trojan Horse! Or, maybe not quite?
    Despite the anger undoubtedly felt by Ukrainians for her betrayal, to instantly vilify her as anything but a mentally ill former POW who was given the spotlight for the political capital she gained others, is dishonest and shameful.
    Yes, *this* article touches upon her mental state, near the end mostly… but that is hardly how it begins.
    To blame that Alex whats’isname for her stardom, insinuating that she was a spy all along, but maybe not, but maybe, but no, she’s just crazy…
    Own it! You and many others made her a celebrity, and a politician to boot!
    You were and still are at war, so no one blames you for using any advantage to keep the world focused on your struggle – you would be remiss if you didn’t!
    However, throwing her under the bus after you helped create her ( I’m speaking to those in Ukrainian politics and world media, not merely this outlet ) is dishonest and dishonorable.
    She was a real Ukrainian, probably a little crazy before the Maidan revolution, and that’s okay. We’re all insane when faced with war and the destruction of our homes, our world. She was expected to go off the rails. She was supposed to have professional guidance, to minimize the impact of her negative atttibutes. If that was impossible due to her own defiance, then it frankly would have been wiser to somehow communicate this, rather than let us think that she was still working tirelessly, with maybe a few minor political spats occurring in the background.

    Really, thank you for clarifying more on this, but you should probably hold off on the conspiracy theories, in either direction.
    She always showed herself to be a little crazy. It seems almost as crazy to insinuate that she had the guile to be a Putinist agent, considering that she was easily figured out, and apparently watched *because* of her mental instabilities.

    Do not feel shame for what has transpired, but do not shy from the roles that all played in creating this saga.
    It’s okay, you’re not being judged for the unfortunate vagaries of life.
    Don’t crucify a hero you helped create, however.
    Honesty is worth the most, when you have little else!

    1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

      Comrade… it’s good that you got some extra bread in the Moscow food line this morning. Lots of energy to write your drivel.

      1. Buddy Rugger says:

        You obviously misunderstood everything I wrote, and felt the need to be a pompous loudmouth. Way to go, I’m sure your supervisor will be thrilled to see how poorly you comprehend written English.

        1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

          Why don’t you open your previous comments to scrutiny comrade… then we can see what you’re about? Other than that, I can smell a putin stooge several laptops away.

          1. Oleksandra Shandra Oleksandra Shandra says:

            Vlad, any criticism based on facts, not vitriolic slander?

          2. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            He can easily open up his comments and prove me wrong. Any other examples of his pro Ukraine contributions?

          3. MichaelA says:

            no vlad
            you criticised this post
            it is clearly pro ukraine
            why did you criticise this post?

          4. Buddy Rugger says:

            That’s the hilarious thing about my “hidden” comments… a regular user will browse normally, and come across my many comments, on many forums, and not be castigated by their supervisors. Trolls find it difficult by the very nature of their hit-and-run schedule.
            Well, on to the next, I suppose. Maybe you can pass your handle off to the next person to take your seat, and spread out the workload?
            The subtleties of basic human communication can be elusive, but don’t give up, we have faith in you!

          5. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            This is s Putin troll folks. NEXT

          6. MichaelA says:

            no vlad he isnt
            and you have proved that
            you have criticised a post he wrote which was clearly pro ukraine
            and other than that you have nothing at all
            except innuendo

          7. slavko says:

            You wrote this: “That’s the hilarious thing about my “hidden” comments… a regular user
            will browse normally, and come across my many comments, on many forums,
            and not be castigated by their supervisors”

            My response to what you wrote is this: I AM a regular user and I do browse regularly the comment section. And this is the first time that I have seen your contribution. I do not see a problem with what you wrote. It is a different interpretation that has some validity. However, if you wish to be seen as a credible personality then open up your comment history. Let everyone see who you are, and what your comments are, unless of course there’s something that you are ashamed of or that you want to hide.

          8. MichaelA says:

            i am not opening up mine
            nor am i revealing my identity
            i visit ukraine from time to time and i do not trust the oligarchs there an inch

          9. slavko says:

            I have seen your comments regularly. I have not seen Buddy’s comments at all prior to this. I was responding to his “…a regular user will browse normally, and come across my many comments on many forums…”

            It’s everyone’s choice whether or not to open up their comment history. I had the same choice and instantly felt that I have nothing to hide.

            I have also watched how some commentators with closed history attempt to sway public opinion in favor of the Kremlin after achieving acceptance in the pro-Ukraine crowd. So I am wary. Both Twitter and Facebook have been infiltrated with such filth that they even were able to lock out pro-Ukraine commentators by playing a two-faced troll.

          10. MichaelA says:

            very good point about the trojan horse members
            i have seen that too
            yes we have to be always on our guard
            another problem is where the putin trolls create an account that is very similar to a known pro ukraine poster
            i remember that being done to neckto and to mike

          11. slavko says:

            This is true what you say. There’s sometimes an edginess because of that and tempers flare. Personally I feel it would be more advantageous to post comments that show Ukraine in a more positive political light. There are some that I noticed who are even moderators that are always slandering especially Russians, then Germans, Serbs and Poles. This works against Ukraine’s political interests and works more in favor of proving Putin’s anti-Ukraine rhetoric. Which then shifts the image of the pro-Kremlin troll onto those pretending to be pro-Ukraine. Just sit back and watch.

          12. zorbatheturk says:

            Savushkina Street has a Special Projects division…

          13. Buddy Rugger says:

            Truth is, until Vlad mentioned it, I had no idea that my comments were hidden. I see my comments, so I assumed that everyone else could as well.
            But then again, why would I open them up? Because you have asked me to? I don’t recall seeing you around, but I wouldn’t consider you to be a troll or otherwise until I saw evidence of such in your comments. Your comments either show up during my time viewing a story, or they don’t. It was accidental that Vlad’s even appeared to me- I was clicking on him to hide him, because I do not consider his noise to be valuable. I didn’t need to see his history, because I have seen him all over the Euromaidanpress comment sections. I know what he’s about already.
            I disagree with the insinuation that my profile should be suspect until you and Vlad can view it. If it is that important to you, then by all means, stick around and enjoy the articles, I’m sure that you’ll occasionally decide to read the comments, and will see me posting in them.
            Now, I’ve already said everything I will on the matter. It’s childish, and the only reason that I have responded is so others can view these exchanges, and see for themselves the evidence of who might be a troll. It really shouldn’t be an issue to a serious adult.
            Good day.

          14. slavko says:

            You wrote: “Truth is, until Vlad mentioned it, I had no idea that my comments were
            hidden. I see my comments, so I assumed that everyone else could as
            well.”

            There’s a box in the “Settings” section labeled thus “Keep your profile activity private”that needs to be checked in order to keep the account private. This means that to check that box it requires a conscious intention and action. So what you wrote above doesn’t hold water for me. Perhaps you had forgotten that you checked it. That is possible. Notice that I upvoted your comment since for the most part I agreed with it. Still questions in my mind remained as Vlad pointed out. But I wanted to know more background which enabled you to post what you did. But apparently you don’t wish to risk that for whatever reason. Maybe it’s only a lack of confidence on your part which I doubt as you appear to have a confident command of the language. But whatever.
            Good day.

          15. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Exactly right Slavko…. never read anything from Buddy, yet now he’s the great analyst. His “own it” comment is particularly galling.
            I do own any comments i made in her favour. I own the money I donated and the demonstration I attended. I don’t need some one time contributor lecturing me on what I should own or not.
            “Do not feel shame for what has transpired, but do not shy from the roles that all played in creating this saga.”
            I played the role of someone caring for a fellow Ukrainian who was held and possibly tortured in the hands of Russian vermin. No matter what role she played, she would not have had any kind of real trial there.
            If she is guilty of treason in Ukraine, she will at least have a chance to defend herself in a real court room.

          16. MichaelA says:

            thats not an answer vlad
            his post was pro ukraine
            and you flamed him for it – why?

      2. MichaelA says:

        did you read his post as pro moscow?

        1. Buddy Rugger says:

          Read his comment, and then read his history.
          I think it’s a bot or copypasta-chef. Nothing but insults, one-liners, and a few mediocre statements. I suspect either a J-trig, Eglin intel waif, or Haifa “college student”.
          They often lack the understanding of

          1. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Did I hurt your feelings comrade? Easy to prove that I’m wrong. Open up your previous comments.

          2. MichaelA says:

            i cant see anything in his post here that is pro moscow

          3. MichaelA says:

            vlad has done some good comments in the past
            assuming its the same bloke i am thinking of
            anyway i saw no problem at all with your post

          4. Buddy Rugger says:

            Thank you, Michael.
            I am loathe to continue along the lines of “troll speculation”, however, the attacks on normal users and moderate comments is quite common when there is a specific narrative that trolls want to push.
            The pro-moscow line includes the idea that Nadiya was “turned”, or was simply “another faithless Ukrainian”. This gives them a win in their own eyes, because it plays into the “clever russian” fallacy. They are always trying to make themselves look good, though they are the only ones who typically fall for that propaganda.
            The idea that Nadiya was “turned” doesn’t really hold water to me. She was obviously not well. To suggest that she was a spy would have to account for her erratic behavior, and public personality. A spy doesn’t like the limelight, nor are emotionally unstable people viable recruits. To manipulate a mentally unstable person is standard operating procedure- to recruit one, inform one, and entrust one with the knowledge of your plans? If russia was THAT stupid, then we absolutely should be shouting it from the rooftops.
            No, I think that this is simply another case of russians trying to spin the misfortunes of others as their own doing, in an attempt to look like anything but the ineffective bullies they are. They don’t have the sophistication to turn a genuine person effectively, instead they blatantly murder spies and dissenters, and do such a sloppy job of it that the international community is about to gang up on them and eradicate them.
            Any comments which don’t allow some wiggle room for russian bots to drop their own propaganda, are targeted. I’m not unfamiliar with thw intwlligence community here in the U.S., though I am not a part of it. It’s good to have friends that can tip you off to the signs of trolls, they have done me quite a service, and my reading experience is much better for it.
            For the record, I have enjoyed seeing you here, because you are onviously part of the natural landscape. A squirrel in a tree, a child in a park, a fish in a stream are comforting. If your contributions ever turned “trollish” I would give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you were hacked.
            Oh, and if you want some good troll watching, RT is generally perfect. They attack anything that isn’t devisive or anti-West.

          5. MichaelA says:

            i am undecided about nadia at this point
            and i treat each post on its own merits
            we can disagree about savchenko without calling each other putin trolls
            especially as i dont think anyone really knows what the story is with her yet
            anyway its good to see your posts which are supportive of ukraine

          6. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Nobody can read your history comrade. Something to hide?

          7. Buddy Rugger says:

            It’s quite bizarre and telling at this point that you’ve repeated an old question, as if all of your previous trolling and my answers (as well as the answers of others) didn’t happen.
            I can only assume that you are a different person using the same profile, or that you somehow were unable to read what has already transpired here when you made this comment.
            If you aren’t trying very hard to look like a Kremlin troll, then you should perhaps move to Savushka St., because you’re a natural.

          8. Vlad Pufagtinenko says:

            Are you paid in rubles or dollars comrade?

  2. Scradje says:

    With the benefit of hindsight, it was strange that even during her hunger strikes, she retained her chunky physique. One would assume that the possibility of her being a ‘Manchurian Candidate’ has and is being thoroughly investigated?

    1. On the Balcony says:

      I could be wrong but I really think that a lot of Ukrainians who appear appalled now likely would be cheering if Nadia had actually accomplished what she was conspiring to do. The main concern/objections I have heard from people I know is that the timing is wrong (its too soon) and that her plan did not go far enough to eliminate the rot or replace it with competent leadership.

  3. Ihor Dawydiak says:

    A victim of PTSD or a narcissistic traitor or a deluded and naive individual who mistakenly thought that she had a simple solution to a complex matter in ending the conflict in Ukraine’s Russian occupied Donbas Region? On the surface it would appear to most people that Nadia Savchenko should be found guilty as charged. However, in all fairness to the accused, would it not be appropriate for a court to order a mental health exam which should be conducted by a team of highly reputable psychiatrists before the commencement of a trial? Nevertheless and regardless of the outcome, Savchenko has almost certainly destroyed her very short career in Ukrainian politics and as such will relegate herself to an unenviable minor footnote in the history of Ukraine.

  4. zorbatheturk says:

    RuSSia did a brain transplant on her.