By Nadiya Savchenko
Posted on 09.03.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
“This is how we’re going to do it – first, I speak, then the interpreter translates [my speech], he’s got a paper with everything.”
Interpreter: [translates the above into Russian]
“Any objections? Alright. Let’s start.
So, now you decided to allow me to say my final word. Now, when I can barely speak.
The court decided to demonstrate that they have power over the people, took a week to celebrate the 8th of March in peace, to get wasted, party, and worry about nothing. Right after I’d asked you to do everything as quickly as possible. Now, when I’m a week into a dry hunger strike, you believe this is normal. Well demonstrated, well done.
If you want to show what Russian fascists are like, how good they are at killing people – then you’re doing well. Not bad at all.
It wasn’t my attorneys who asked me to go on a hunger strike. They have done everything possible to protect me. My team of lawyers is simply wonderful, the best in Russia. [Mark] Feygin, [Nikolay] Polozov, [Ilya] Novikov – they are, firstly, professionals, and secondly, real Humans who are fighting against what’s going on in Russia.
Now, you are locking up people who are coming out to support me in Russia. You think that others won’t come to take their place? And if you lock them up, too, you think that more still won’t come?
You can’t lock everyone up here – remember that!! Russia WILL have a Maidan!
Putin will not keep holding on to his power at the price of people’s blood! This is against nature, against people, against God, against everything in the world!
All I can do is show, by my example, that Russia, with its ‘statehood’ and its totalitarian regime, can be made to knuckle under, if you are fearless and unbowed.
Now, you wanted my last word?
Here is my final word! Can everyone see well?
[sticks her middle finger up to the court]
Now, interpreter, please include my gesture in your translation.”
“Reprimand to the accused for inappropriate behavior.”
“You’re not allowed to interrupt the final word. [to interpreter] Read it out!”
“Your Honor, as per the request of Nadezhda Savchenko, I will read out the translation of the final word prepared for the previous court session. In actuality, what happened here, well, the content of the speech is the same–”
“Let us do it this way. A court session is an official event. These obscene, insulting expressions – there is no need to translate those.”
“Yes, your Honor.”
“There was nothing obscene here.”
[reading out the Final Word prepared for the previous court session]
“I do not recognize my guilt, nor the verdict, nor the Russian court. In the event of a conviction – there will not be an appeal. I want the whole civilized, democratic world to understand that Russia – is a third-world country with a totalitarian regime, ruled by a petty dictator, a country that spits on human rights and international law.
It is an absurd situation, when those who kidnap people and subject them to torture – then pretend that they have the right to judge them. What kind of a fair trial is there to talk about? In Russia, there is neither a trial nor an investigation! There is only a farce of Kremlin puppets, and I consider participation in it to be an absolute waste of my time and life!
Therefore, there will be no appeal. Here is what will happen: after the verdict, I will continue the hunger strike for another ten days until the verdict comes into effect. This includes the time required to translate it into Ukrainian, because they’re very good at dragging time out with translations. After ten days, I will declare a dry hunger strike and then Russia will have no more than ten days to take me back to Ukraine, from where they kidnapped me! And I do not care how they will justify it. I heard that [President] Petro Poroshenko is a fairly skilled diplomat. Well, I hope that his diplomatic skills will be enough to come to an agreement with one idiot in Russia… After all, he promised my mother that I would be home for the May holidays in 2015.
And while they bargain over me, life will be leaving me, and one way or another, Russia will still have to return me to Ukraine – living or dead! But it will return me!
And for all these ten days, my sister will stand by the prison gates, day and night, and wait – whether they release me or carry me out. And if you imprison her – my 77-year-old mother will come to stand in her place. Will you imprison her too? Then in her place will stand my girlfriend, then another friend, followed by Ukrainian after Ukrainian! And remember – you can’t lock them all up! And while my fellow citizens stand there, simple, honest and decent Russians from the neighboring houses will start bringing them hot tea, sandwiches and blankets – for each of them understands that any child of theirs can wind up in my place in this Prison of the Peoples that goes by the name of Russia!
And this is how Maidans begin! Do you need this?! You are afraid of this like fire! So it’s better for the Kremlin to take me back to Ukraine as soon as possible, and alive!
And the world of democratic values would do good to understand the lessons of history and remember that at one time Europe was tolerant with Hitler, America was not decisive enough, and it led to World War II. Putin is a tyrant with imperial aspiration, and the personality complexes of Napoleon and Hitler put together. A bear does not understand the human language, it understands only the language of force. Therefore, if we do not become more resolute and don’t define our priorities in a timely manner, we will soon have a third world war.
As a politician, I will not shake hands with Russia in the political arena. It is out of hand to shake hands with those who held you in handcuffs, and your people in chains. Whenever I make a political decision, I will always think about its effect on the common people, of Ukraine as well as Russia. For in Russia, in spite of everything, there are nevertheless many honest, decent, kind and unfortunate people.”
[translated by the interpreter as she speaks]
“Now I will make an addition. The court stole a week of my life from me. Now you only have one week to make a decision. Maybe I can still make it [to that time].
You can act decently and admit your mistake. Your guilt, naturally, you won’t admit.
You can read out the verdict right now, or tomorrow, or in a week, at the latest.
If you decide to say that the verdict will be read out in two weeks, or at the end of April, or in six months – if you want to make a show of strength, go ahead. But remember that we are gambling with my life. The stakes are high, and I will win – because I have nothing to lose.
[interpreter says “the stakes are high, and I have nothing to lose,” skipping the part “I will win”]
I will continue my dry hunger strike if the decision is delayed by more than a week. I have spoken.
I will not be waiting for the verdict. That is all, thank you.
Thank you, everyone, for your support.”
“The court will adjourn to pass the resolution, until March 21, 11:00 and March 22, 11:00.”
“Well done! You’ve done it. Dry hunger strike, from today!”
[Nadiya sings the National Anthem of Ukraine loudly, and is joined by people in the courtroom]
Voice from the crowd:
“Nadiya, stay alive! Glory to Ukraine”
“Glory to the Heroes!”
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