Volodymyr Balukh / Photo from UNIAN, Viacheslav Ratynskyi

The National Police in Ukraine have classified the attack on the Kremlin's former political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh as robbery.

That's according to a statement by Kyiv Police Department.

"The information collected into this fact has been filed in the Unified Register of pre-trial Investigations. The Investigation Department of the Dnipro District Police Unit of Kyiv has started criminal proceedings under Part 4 of Art. 187 (robbery) of the Criminal Code Of Ukraine," the statement says.

The article envisages a prison term of eight to 15 years with confiscation of property.

Assault on Balukh: background

Former Russian political prisoner Oleg Sentsov said Volodymyr Balukh has been assaulted in Kyiv overnight Tuesday, September 8. Meanwhile, September 7 marked a year since his successful return to Ukraine after he was released from a Russian prison.

Sentsov said Balukh was found this morning, with his arm and collarbone fractured.

Read alsoUkrainian political prisoner Balukh testifies about tortures in Russia (Video)Balukh has undergone surgery, having suffered a severe head injury. He has since remained in grave but stable condition.

Who is Volodymyr Balukh

  • Balukh is a Crimean farmer, who was detained by Russia's FSB Federal Security Service on December 8, 2016.
  • FSB operatives claimed they had allegedly found 90 ammunition rounds and several TNT explosives in his attic.
  • It is widely believed though that security operatives had detained the man for his firm political stance: he had a Ukrainian flag flying over his house, which he refused to remove despite persistent demands of local authorities, KHPG watchdog reported.
  • On July 5, 2018, a Russian-controlled court in Crimea sentenced him to five years in a penal colony and a RUB 10,000 fine.
  • On October 3, 2018, the so-called "Supreme Court of Crimea" reviewed Balukh's original verdict and reduced his term to four years and 11 months.
  • On September 7, 2019, he was handed back to Ukraine as part of a major prisoner swap effort.