Moscow-based journalist Natalya Kaplan, a cousin of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been on hunger strike in a Russian penal colony, says Russian President Vladimir Putin may agree to pardon her brother if he grows weary of worldwide efforts demanding the release of the Ukrainian filmmaker.
In an interview with Dozhd, she said it is unlikely that someone will be able to influence the Russian authorities and achieve Sentsov's release.
"It is possible just to exhaust Putin. I've talked about this with Akhtem Chiygoz, a former Ukrainian political prisoner. He believes it is possible just to exhaust Putin and he will understand it all makes no sense and say: 'Ok, take him, just leave me alone.' This option is possible," Kaplan said.
The woman also said she did not rely on any agreements with the Russian president.
"As for bargaining, as far as I know, Putin was offered a lot and there has been always either silence or refusal. In general, as for Oleh, Putin almost always keeps silent about him," Kaplan said.
UNIAN memo. Sentsov was arrested in Russian-occupied Crimea in spring 2014 and in August 2015 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison following an unfair trial where he faced "terrorism" charges stemming from his opposition to Russia's occupation of Crimea. He has been serving his term in a penal colony in the town of Labytnangi, Russia's Yamal. Sentsov began his hunger strike on May 14, 2018, in protest against the politically motivated jailing of dozens of Ukrainians in the Russian Federation.