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Ukrainian film director and former political prisoner Oleh Sentsov has explained the reason for switching to the Ukrainian language of communication.

Read alsoEx-political prisoner Sentsov says not interested in politics

"It was a conscious choice. Because it is the language that unites us. If we create a new Ukrainian nation, which is formed according to national principles, a political nation, we should have some guidelines. This is our independence, our state symbols, our history, our language," he said in an interview for the Voice of America.

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Sentsov says he now speaks Ukrainian under certain circumstances.

"I speak Ukrainian with Ukrainian speakers, try to write [social media] posts in Ukrainian. I try to speak Ukrainian at official events," he added.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Sentsov spoke in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday about his prison term in Russia. He also addressed overall conditions in Russian penitentiary facilities and mentioned confessions of the Russian military involved in seizing Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.