Kremlin denies plans to release ex-Ukrainian army pilot

MOSCOW - Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday denied rumors that ex-Ukrainian army pilot Nadia Savchenko would be released in the near future. 

"As such, the issue of Savchenko was not discussed," Peskov said in an official statement to the press.  

"Of course, she was referred to by the Ukrainian side. The president has repeated many times his position that in this case against her, investigative procedures are to be performed and the degree of guilt or innocence established by judicial authority."

Rumors of Savchenko's immanent release arose after the signing of the peace agreement in Minsk on Thursday, which included a provision for a prisoner exchange on the basis of "all for all." 

Savchenko's last court appearance was on Monday. She had been on a hunger strike for 60 days and was said to appear much thinner. The judge ruled for her detention at Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina prison to be extended until May, to give prosecutors sufficient time to complete their investigation into her case.

Ukrainian army pilot Nadia Savchenko was captured by pro-Russian separatists in June of last year. She had been fighting as a volunteer in the pro-government "Aidar" battalion. Several days after her capture, she was taken to the border and turned over to Russian authorities. She has been charged with the murder of two Russian journalists who were killed in a mortar attack.

In October 2014, Nadia Savchenko was put on the ballot of Ukraine's Fatherland party and elected as a member of the Ukrainian parliament in absentia.

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