Gerashchenko shares contents of letter from Sentsov
Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson, Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group's humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko has said she has received a letter from political prisoners Oleh Sentsov from the penal colony in Labytnangi in Russia's Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Gerashchenko announced this on her page on Facebook on Monday, January 21. The letter is dated January 17, 2019.
In his turn, Russian human rights activist Nikolai Schur briefly conveyed the contents of Sentsov's letter. "He writes that he is doing well: he does some sports, has gained weight almost the same as when he was free, and has used the ink in three pens over the past month. During the New Year holidays, they did not put him in an isolation ward as they did to Sasha Kolchenko. He says hello to the captured Ukrainian naval seamen and sends his words of gratitude to all the volunteers who have helped them," Schur wrote on his Facebook page.
In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court sentenced Sentsov, arrested in Crimea in 2014, to 20 years in a high-security penitentiary for forming a terrorist group in Crimea.
On May 14, 2018, Sentsov went on hunger strike, demanding that Ukrainians incarcerated in Russia be released. He received nutrients intravenously.
On October 5, Valery Maksimenko, the deputy director of the Federal Penitentiary Service, told Interfax that Sentsov had ended his hunger strike by agreeing in writing to receive food. The next day, the Ukrainian confirmed that he was doing so in order to avoid force-feeding. He said he believed that his hunger strike was not successful.