Statement by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Release of Nadiya Savchenko

During the 708 days since her abduction in eastern Ukraine, Nadiya Savchenko has endured inhumane imprisonment, countless interrogations, solitary confinement, the deterioration of her health, and farcical Russian legal proceedings. Today, Savchenko’s nightmare has finally ended.

While we are overjoyed at the news that Savchenko is reunited with her family, we remember the other Ukrainians, such as Oleh Sentsov or Oleksandr Kolchenko, still held unjustly by Russia. Like Savchenko, many of these Ukrainian citizens were detained in sovereign Ukrainian territory and then illegally transferred to Russia for sham trials.

The United States will continue to press Russia for complete implementation of its commitments under the Minsk agreements, which include the return of all unlawfully detained people, as well as Russia’s withdrawal of its forces from Ukrainian territory; and for Russia to end its occupation of Crimea.

Much work must still be done to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity – but today is a day for celebration in Ukraine, as one of its patriots has finally returned home.