The negotiations and a public campaign for her release
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, and the French President François Hollande became involved in the process of liberation of Savchenko. However, the key part in her release could have been played by someone else. In the photographs published on March 23, 2016 by the Kremlin, Viktor Medvedchuk, the former Head of presidential administration of Leonid Kuchma, meets Russian journalists’ widows. Medvedchuk, the leader of the “Ukrainian Choice” organization, is recognized as the main agent of Russian influence in Ukraine. Related to Vladimir Putin (Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter), he takes part in Minsk meetings concerning the exchange of prisoners between Kiev and the separatists. His opponents believe that Russia emphasizes the role of Medvedchuk in order to strengthen his political influence in Ukraine.