Ukraine's iconic ex-pilot goes on hunger strike in prison

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A celebrated former Ukrainian military pilot in jail on charges of plotting an attack on parliament says she has started refusing food and water in protest.

Nadiya Savchenko said Wednesday she wants to protest what she called blackmail and pressure by investigators.

Savchenko has been in custody since March on charges of planning to attack parliament with hand grenades and automatic weapons. She rejected the charges as an attempt by President Petro Poroshenko's government to get rid of a powerful challenger before March's presidential vote.

Savchenko became a national hero in Ukraine after spending years in a Russian prison. She was released from Russian prison in 2016 amid international pressure, but after returning home to a hero's welcome quickly fell out with Poroshenko, accusing his government of corruption and incompetence.