Sunday, June 3, 2018

President Poroshenko: Demonstrations in support of Oleg Sentsov held in 12 countries, ‘even in Russia’

June 2, 2018 (KyivPost) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has thanked everyone who joined demonstrations in various countries around the world in support of Ukrainian citizen Oleh Sentsov, who is serving time at a Russian prison. “I thank everyone who joined the campaign in support of Oleg Sentsov around the world, including Germany, France, Italy, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Portugal, Ukraine, and even Russia. The whole world is angered by the lawlessness and totalitarian methods of the Kremlin regime,” Poroshenko said on Facebook on Saturday. Ukraine will continue to fight for the liberation of all Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages held in Russia, temporarily occupied Crimea and Donbas, he said.

A campaign in support for Sentsov and other Ukrainian prisoners (#SaveOlegSentsov) is also to start at Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv on Saturday. Russian law enforcement agencies detained Sentsov in Crimea in 2014. He was charged with setting up a “terrorist group” on the peninsula. The North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don found him guilty and sentenced him to 20 years in a strict security penitentiary in August 2015. Oleksandr Kolchenko was also sentenced to 10 years in prison in the same case.
On May 14, 2018, Sentsov declared a hunger strike, demanding that all Ukrainian citizens held in Russia be freed. Sentsov is serving time at a strict security penitentiary (known also as Polar Bear) in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district, and Kolchenko at IK-6 correctional facility in Kopeisk, the Chelyabinsk region.