The U.S. Department of State has condemned Russia's conviction and a six-year sentence of Ukrainian political prisoner Pavlo Hryb.
"We condemn Russia's conviction and 6-year sentence of Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb. He was targeted for opposing Russian aggression against Ukraine. We are concerned about his health. Russia should immediately return him to Ukraine, and vacate his conviction," Deputy Speaker of the U.S. State Department, Robert Palladino, wrote on Twitter on March 23, 2019.
As UNIAN reported, Russia's North-Caucasian District Military Court on March 22 sentenced Pavlo Hryb to six years in a penal colony for allegedly "promoting terrorism." After the sentence was announced, Hryb said he would go on hunger strike. He demanded that doctors and Ukrainian human rights commissioner Liudmyla Denisova be allowed to visit him.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called on the international community to exert pressure on the Russian Federation to release Hryb.
Pavlo Hryb was tried in Russia on trumped-up "terrorist" charges as investigators claim he instructed an accomplice to set off an explosive device at a Russian schoolyard. He was just 19 when he was abducted by the FSB from Belarus on August 24, 2017, after going there to meet who he thought was a young woman he had chatted with online, and fallen in love with.
Hryb is diagnosed with portal hypertension, which requires daily intake of necessary medications and a special diet, the lack of which could become fatal.