Ukraine’s postal service, Ukrposhta, began issuing postage stamps bearing the image of Nadiya Savchenko in a move to raise support and awareness for the Ukrainian pilot, who has had two hunger strikes since her imprisonment in a Moscow jail. Her detention is widely viewed as illegal.The stamp depicts Savchenko with her head rested on folded arms and her trademark blue eyes. It is issued as a single honorary postage stamp that will be sent to her along with letters of support, in what postal workers hope will provide a pleasant surprise and morale boost.
Even though it was issued as a special present for Savchenko, anyone can order a similar stamp from Ukrposhta’s custom-made stamps service Vlasna Marka.We worry very much about the fate of our Nadiya, as she is an example for all of us,” Ukrposhta’s Acting General Director Ihor Tkachuk said on March 26, the postal website reported. “She is not just a pilot and our fellow citizen. Above all, she is a woman and should not have to suffer so much. We wish to see her healthy and smiling on her homeland as soon as possible.”
Vira Savchenko told the Kyiv Post that her sister is still not aware of the initiative, which drew much interest on her Facebook page. Ukrposhta has also received many inquiries on how to buy the Savchenko stamp set, its press service claimed. Vira Savchenko said she sent more photos to Ukrposhta, which she said may decide to issue more.
The issuing of stamps isn’t the first time Ukrposhta has paid tribute to Savchenko. In the middle of March, the company called on Ukrainians to write letters of support to Savchenko.
“Nadiya gets thousands of letters every day, although all of them are censored,” her sister said, adding that her lawyers help her translate those written in English. “Nadia says that getting letters in prison makes her life meaningful.”
Savchenko was captured and kidnapped by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s easternmost Luhansk Oblast in June, where she was fighting as part of Ukraine’s volunteer battalions. She was illegally transported to Russia and charged by Russian authorities with the killing of two Russian journalists in Donbas in 2014.
Although her lawyers have presented evidence that proves the two journalists died after Savchenko was already captured, the Russian court extended her arrest until May 13. On Dec. 13, 2014, Savchenko went on a hunger strike to protest the accusations and her custody. She stopped on the brink of what was reported to be irreparable physical harm on March 5, and then launched a second hunger strike on March 16.
Those interested in ordering the Vlasna Marka stamps with Savchenko or any other image can order them at the www.ukrposhta.ua or at any post office. The cost for the set is Hr 146.76 and processing takes up to four days.