Moscow: Hunger-strike Ukrainian pilot to stay in jail

MOSCOW - Ex-Ukrainian army pilot Nadia Savchenko -- who has been on hunger strike in a Russian jail for 60 days -- has been ordered by a Moscow court to remain in prison.

Savchenko, who was captured by separatist forces near Lugansk last June while fighting in the ranks of the pro-government "Aidar" battalion, was told of the decision by the Basmanny Moscow court Tuesday.

Savchenko, who has been on hunger strike since Dec. 13 as she demands to be recognized as a prisoner of war, was told her incarceration in the Matrosskaya Tishina prison would continue until May 13 while an investigation into her case was ongoing.

Savchenko, who appeared noticeably thinner since her last court appearance, is said by her lawyer Mark Feygin to have lost 20 kilograms since she began refusing food.

After her capture last year, Savchenko was handed over to Russian authorities who accused her of being involved in the death of two Russian journalists who were killed by mortar fire in Ukraine.  

Savchenko was elected to the Ukrainian parliament in her absence last October and sworn-in in November.

Her imprisonment in Russia has been condemned as unlawful by the U.S. and EU.

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