Poroshenko calls for increasing pressure on Moscow to have Ukrainians freed from Russian prisons
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the international community to continue putting pressure on Moscow after Ukrainian citizen Oleh Sentsov convicted in Russia on terrorism charges has declared an open-ended hunger strike.
Poroshenko cited Sentsov's letter on its Facebook page on Wednesday: "The only condition for its [the hunger strike's] halt is the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners who are on the territory of Russia."
"I am calling on the international community to continue pressure on the Kremlin so that Ukrainian political prisoners could return home to their families as soon as possible. We are continuing our fight and are making all possible efforts to have all unlawfully convicted Ukrainians held in the occupied Crimea, Donbas, and in Russian territory freed," Poroshenko said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the web publication Hromadske said with reference to Sentsov's cousin Natalia Kaplan that Sentsov had declared a hunger strike.
The Northern Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov, who was detained in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a high-security penitentiary in August 2015 for an attempt to create a terrorist community in Crimea.
Sentsov is serving his sentence in a high-security correctional facility known as Bely Medved (Polar Bear) in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.
Ukraine, the international community has repeatedly called on the Russian Federation to release the illegally convicted Sentsov.