Ukraine heroine 'had forged vaccine paper'

Andreas SteinDeutsche Presse Agentur
Nadiya Savchenko, holding her Star of the Hero of Ukraine, is accused of having fake COVID-19 docs.
Camera IconNadiya Savchenko, holding her Star of the Hero of Ukraine, is accused of having fake COVID-19 docs. Credit: EPA

Ukrainian national heroine Nadiya Savchenko, formerly imprisoned in Russia, is facing a prison sentence in her home country.

The 40-year-old was caught in Kiev with a forged COVID-19 vaccination certificate, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj confirmed on Friday.

She had entered the country by plane from Turkey with her sister.

Both now face up to two years in prison.

Savchenko herself did not comment at first.

In Ukraine, a vaccination certificate exempts a person from quarantine after entering the country.

In the current coronavirus wave, the authorities registered new records on Friday with 23,785 infections and 614 deaths.

At the same time, despite the availability of vaccines, people's willingness to get vaccinated is low: only about 17 per cent of Ukrainians are fully vaccinated.

Savchenko was captured in 2014 during fighting in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk against pro-Russian separatists and was handed over to Russia.

There, the ex-professional soldier was sentenced to 22 years in prison for murder in a trial that attracted international attention.

In 2016, the ex-parliamentarian was finally released after a prisoner exchange.

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