KYIV, Ukraine – About 2,000 people have rallied on Independence Square in Kyiv to demand that Russia release Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko.
Savchenko was captured in June 2014 while fighting with a Ukrainian volunteer battalion against Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. She is now on trial in Russia, accused of acting as a spotter who called in co-ordinates for a mortar attack that killed two Russian journalists and several other civilians.
After Sunday’s rally, some of the protesters set off for the Russian Embassy to press their demands.
At the embassy the protesters chanted “Shame on Russia” and “Freedom to Savchenko,” an embassy spokesman told the Interfax news agency. Some of the protesters pelted the building with eggs, while one man in uniform was seen inside the embassy grounds, breaking a glass window with a stone.
On Saturday night, the Russian Embassy said it was also attacked by men armed with baseball bats, who were wearing camouflage and ski masks and badly damaged three embassy vehicles and threw smoke bombs.