19 April 2019, Friday, 6:22
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Aleksievich about Putin and Savchenko: It’s a shame to fight against women

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Public leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries have addressed Vladimir Putin with a request to release Nadiya Savchenko.

More than 5,000 persons have already signed the letter posted at the website of Novaya gazeta. Extending the detention of Nadiya Savchenko is considered in the Basmanny District Court of Moscow today. She continues her hunger strike for almost two months, as she believes her detention is illegal.

In an interview to Radio Svaboda Svetlana Aleksievich, a writer, explains why she is waiting for mercy from Vladimir Putin.

“I like this woman very much. She is a person of her convictions, a person with her own viewpoint; she is a military servicewoman who was performing her duty, defending her motherland. I believe that the Ukrainian army is defending their motherland. She had been abducted by deceit, taken away, there is no evidence against her, she has an alibi. And when I signed the letter, I recalled the famous picture with a half-naked Putin on a horse, and I thought: how could it be that men are fighting against women? And these women are so strong and handsome; moreover, it is already clear that not much is needed for her to perish. A real soldier respects strength of another soldier – it was done even by the German Nazi during the war, there are so many examples of that! And why the Russian authorities are incapable of that?” Svetlana Aleksievich said.

The writer is not embarrassed by the genre of a petition for mercy.

“And whom are we to ask, when everything is owned by the tyrant in this country? In this transitional post-totalitarian time we have been caught by completely new totalitarian traps, and we have no one else to turn to – to God and to the tyrant, who else there could be? I expect that at least a male shame is to play its role, I would not speak about any convictions. It’s true, they are soldiers of different positions, but does he have a shame of a real man, or not?” she says.

According to Aleksievich, we are living in a patriarchal culture. “It is not a modern European culture, where men and women are partners, it’s a kind of machismo. And on the other side, women are playing supporting roles. That is why, proceeding from these facts, from our upbringing, our philosophy, I would like to say it’s a shame to fight against a woman. It’s a shame! In the first place, it’s a shame to insult her in this way, not to have pity for her. It’s a shame not to be a man! And now trading in the name of Savchenko, her name, her symbol has started. It’s a trump, which is hidden by politicians in a rather tasteless way. To my mind this bargaining is utter cynicism,” she believes.

In July the Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko was abducted by special services of Russia. On July 9 she was officially charged with being complicit in a murder. Savchenko denies all charges. The Ukrainian side demands her release.