Russian Senate admits possibility of Sentsov swap

21:50, 02 July 2018
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Oleh Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director illegally sentenced by a Russian court to 20 years in prison can be included in the list of Ukrainian political prisoners to be swapped for Russian convicts sentenced in Ukraine, according to Alexei Kondratiev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Defense and Security Committee.

"I think Sentsov could get there [in the list]. The issue of his exchange has repeatedly been raised by the Ukrainian side, his name is still relevant [for the swap]," Izvestia quoted Kondratiev as saying.

Earlier, First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Gerashchenko, named 23 Russians whom Ukraine was ready to hand over to the Russian Federation in exchange for the Ukrainian political prisoners unlawfully held in Russia.

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Persons listed by Gerashchenko had been convicted, in particular, for plotting terror attacks in Ukrainian cities and participation in military operations in Donbas.

As UNIAN reported, FSB operatives detained Sentsov in Crimea in the spring of 2014. He was transferred to Russia, where he was tried on trumped-up charges of organizing terror attacks and setting fire to the offices of political parties.

The Russian court in August 2015 sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in prison. The Ukrainian film director is being held in a colony in the distant Arctic town of Labytnangi.

On May 14, 2018, Sentsov went on a hunger strike demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners.

The Ukrainian Ombudsperson, Liudmyla Denisova, was denied access to Sentsov.

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