REUTERS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has once again called on the Russian Federation to release Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was illegally convicted and imprisoned in Russia.

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"Today Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg #Sentsov marks his 43rd birthday. He has been in Russian prison for six years already, illegally detained and sentenced. We stand together with Oleg and reiterate the demand to release him," the MFA press service wrote on Twitter on July 2.

The ministry also expressed support for the Kremlin's other hostages and assured it would continue to work on their release.

"We are with you, dear Oleh! We will never stop fighting to free you and other political prisoners of the Kremlin," the ministry posted on Facebook.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Russian FSB detained Sentsov in Crimea in the spring of 2014, later transferring the film director to be tried in Russia.

In August 2015, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison on trumped-up charges of organizing terror acts and arson of party offices.

Sentsov is serving a sentence in a colony in a remote town of Labytnangi in Russia's Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.

A major international effort involving politicians, media, artists, and civil activists is underway urging for Sentsov's release and stressing the political nature of his case.