Ukrainian lawmaker stripped of immunity on coup charges

The Ukrainian parliament has stripped a former military pilot who became a national icon after spending time in a Russian jail of her immunity as a lawmaker on charges of plotting a military coup.

In Thursday’s speech to lawmakers, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko accused Nadiya Savchenko of plotting an attack on parliament with hand grenades and automatic weapons.

Lutsenko claimed that Savchenko was acting in cahoots with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine to stage a “terrorist coup in the interests of Ukraine’s enemies.” He presented wiretapped recordings in which Savchenko was talking about smuggling weapons from the east.

Savchenko told lawmakers she was aware of being wiretapped and talked about such attacks as a “surrealist political provocation” to mock the government that she said has failed the public’s hopes.