Kremlin hostages: Five years of Sentsov and Kolchenko's captivity in Russia (Video)

21:42, 10 May 2019
Ukraine
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Russian security forces arrested film director Oleh Sentsov in Simferopol on May 10, 2014. Student Oleksandr Kolchenko was captured by Russia in a week. They were charged with preparing terrorist acts. Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security penal colony.

Read alsoActivists go on solo pickets in Moscow to support Sentsov (Photo)

On May 14, 2018, Sentsov went on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding that Russia free all Ukrainian political prisoners. He had been on hunger strike for 145 days and refused to protest only in October 2018. During this time, he severely sapped his health. Oleksandr Kolchenko is also sick: he said he was taking medicines for arrhythmia.

In December 2018, the European Parliament awarded Sentsov its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The Ukrainian political prisoner was supported all over the world, including by celebrities.

To date, 236 Ukrainian political prisoners are being held in Russia and in annexed Crimea. These figures do not include people who are in captivity on the territory of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics." It is still unknown when they are released and returned to Ukraine.

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