Putin comments on possibility of Sentsov swap
Russia has not yet considered the possible exchange of editor-in-chief of RIA Novosti Ukraine Kirill Vyshinsky for Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, that's according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. As
"As for another individual in question, Mr. [Oleh] Sentsov, he had been detained in Crimea, and by the way- not for his journalistic activities, but for plotting a terrorist act, preparing an explosion, which could hurt specific people.These are completely different things we're talking about. They are different and incomparable," Putin said while answering questions during a major "Hot Line" event on Thursday.
"Therefore, we have not yet thought about it," he said, answering the question whether the possibility of a Vyshinsky-Sentsov swap was on the table.
Putin claims that Vyshinsky was arrested in Ukraine for his direct professional activities, and expects that he will be released under pressure from the international community.
"This is an absolutely unprecedented and absolutely unacceptable policy of today's Ukrainian leaders. It should be adequately reflected in the reaction of the journalistic community and international human rights organizations," Putin said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Sentsov was detained by FSB operatives in Crimea in the spring of 2014. He was transferred to Russia, where he was tried on trumped-up charges of plotting terrorist attacks and arson of party offices on the peninsula. The Russian court in August 2015 sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in prison. On May 14, Sentsov announced an indefinite hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners of the Kremlin.
Kirill Vyshinsky was arrested in Ukraine on high treason charges. The SBU and prosecutors reported they had revealed the illegal activity of the Russian-controlled media network in Ukraine.
It was established that in spring 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea, Vyshinsky produced anti-Ukrainian materials and received a medal "For the Return of Crimea" from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the SBU said.