22 Mar 2018 14:09

Ukraine's prosecutor general says Russia involved in Savchenko plans to carry out coup in Kyiv, Savchenko denies claims

KYIV. March 22 (Interfax) - Ukrainian investigators have evidence of Russian officials' assistance to independent Verkhovna Rada member Nadiya Savchenko and head of the Officer Corps prisoner-release center Volodymyr Ruban in their preparation of a military coup in Ukraine, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko said.

"We have facts proving the participation of the Russian Federation as an enemy of the Ukrainian state in providing weapons to those who planned and prepared a terrorist attack against the country's top leadership and the peaceful population of the Ukrainian capital in order to overthrow the constitutional system," Lutsenko said on Thursday during a session of the Verkhovna Rada's regulations committee, which is considering the prosecutor general's request for Savchenko's arrest, detention, and prosecution.

Investigators have established that weapons were provided by members of the Russian military to Savchenko and Ruban, Lutsenko said. He gave what he said were the names and codenames of the soldiers in question.

The crimes Savchenko is accused of committing are classified as particularly grave and are punished exclusively by detention, Lutsenko said.

The chairman of the Verkhovna Rada's regulations committee then gave the floor to Savchenko, who criticized the evidence collected by the Prosecutor General's Office. Savchenko said she had known that the Ukrainian security services were watching her and gathering information to compromise her and, for that reason, she deliberately "played along" with them and made plans to attack the Verkhovna Rada and other illegal actions.

She also admitted she had shot a video in the parliament. However, that it was for an online broadcast, and that many other deputies regularly do the same, she said.