Relatives of the murdered journalists requested that Vladimir Putin pardon Nadezhda Savchenko as a humane gesture, Peskov added. President Putin, in turn, thanked the slain journalists’ relatives for their request for clemency.
“Before the pardon was signed, Vladimir Putin met with the relatives of our killed journalists. In turn, this meeting was preceded by the request from the relatives sent on March 22 and 23 where they asked to pardon [Savchenko] on humanitarian grounds,” Peskov said.
The Russian president said he hopes his decision to pardon Savchenko as a humane gesture will help in easing the confrontation in East Ukraine.
“I just want to thank you for this position, and I hope that such decisions are dictated by humane considerations which will lead to a reduction of hostilities in that well-known conflict zone, and will help to prevent others from experiencing such terrible and unnecessary loss,” Putin said.
Savchenko was sentenced in late March to a 22-year jail term in Russia for her part in killing Russian journalists in Donbass. On June 17, 2014, a court ruled that she had directed the artillery fire at a group of Lugansk militia and Russian journalists, which lead to deaths of Russian journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin.