Foreign Ministry again calls on intl partners to increase pressure on Russia to free Sentsov, Balukh
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has once again called on the international community to increase pressure on Russia to release political prisoners - Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and Crimean activist Volodymyr Balukh.
"Volodymyr Balukh has been on hunger strike for 177 days, Oleh Sentsov for 121 days. We call on partners to increase pressure on the Russian Federation for their release," Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don ruled in August 2015 to sentence Sentsov, who was detained in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a high-security penitentiary for plotting a terrorist attack there.
Sentsov declared a hunger strike on May 14, 2018 to demand that all Ukrainians held in Russia "on political motives" be freed.
The Russian-controlled Rozdolne District Court in Crimea on July 5 sentenced Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh to five years in a general-security penal colony and fined him 10,000 rubles (about UAH 4,000) in a ruling on two criminal cases together.
Balukh has been on hunger strike since March 14, 2018.