On 2 February 2016, at her on-going trial, Nadya Savchenko said she recognized the driver of the car in which she was taken to Russia as Kremlin-connected Pavel Karpov. Halya Coynash, writing for Human Rights in Ukraine, reports: 'Karpov was once the ‘right hand’ of Nikita Ivanov, a high-ranking official within President Vladimir Putin’s Administration and was himself in charge of dealings with right-wing movements. According to Novaya Gazeta, Karpov had before that been the right hand for Alexander Dugin, the Russian fascist ideologue who has played a major role in the military conflict in Donbas. Karpov arrived in Donbas together with Muscovite Alexander Borodai. While Borodai remained in the Donetsk oblast, calling himself the ‘prime minister’ of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’, Karpov moved to the Luhansk oblast and was active in the creation of ‘LNR’. He worked closely with the then leader Valery Bolotov and was reported to be part of the team overseen by Putin’s aide Vladislav Surkov. Karpov is now a political consultant and part of Borodai’s team in Moscow. Borodai and Igor Girkin were removed from Donbas soon after a Russian Buk missile downed the MH17 Malaysian airliner over militant-controlled territory in July 2014 and Karpov left Ukraine, together with Borodai. Karpov’s name was heard in the trials of Ilya Goryachev and other members of the neo-Nazi organization BORN [Militant Organization of Russian Nationalists], responsible for at least 10 killings, including that of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov. The trial of Goryachev which resulted in a life sentence highlighted longstanding links between Russian ultranationalists, the Kremlin-backed war in Donbas and the Kremlin. These were brushed aside by Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov and none of the figures persistently mentioned as important witnesses were summoned for questioning.'
On 5 February 2016 RFE/RL reported that Mark Feigin, lead defence lawyer for Savchenko, said that Russia and Ukraine have agreed that after Savchenko she is convicted she will be turned over to Ukraine. Feigin described Savchenko's trial as "political and propagandistic." RFE/RL noted that Savchenko has been on a hunger strike since December 17 and is reportedly suffering health complications.