“She’s the country’s national firecracker. She is the scourge of corrupt politicians and the next time you see her she may be the president of Ukraine.” That’s the introduction Nadiya Savchenko was given by BBC broadcast journalist Kirsty Wark at the Women in the World London Forum on Thursday.Savchenko is also known as “Lady Dynamite” in her country — and for good reason, which was on full display for the live studio audience at the forum. She is Ukraine’s first woman helicopter combat pilot and in 2014 she endured a harrowing ordeal when she was taken prisoner and held in one of Russia’s notorious jails on charges that she’d killed two Russian journalists. Her steely resolve and acts of defiance throughout the ordeal, during which she always maintained her innocence, made her a folk hero at home where she was elected to Parliament in absentia. While she was incarcerated, Savchenko staged several hunger strikes and famously gave a Russian court the finger during what was widely considered a sham of a trial. She was sentenced to 22 years in prison when the verdict came down in March, but two months later Russia released her in a high-profile prisoner swap with Ukraine.One of the most amazing things about Savchenko’s story is how her plight resonated with her countryfolk and they responded by electing her to Parliament while she was still locked up.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Nadiya Savchenko and other top speakers and celebrities.