Volodymyr Balukh / Photo from UNIAN, Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Co-chairman of the European Solidarity parliamentary faction, Member of Parliament Iryna Gerashchenko has said former Russian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh is in serious condition after recent assault, he remains on a ventilator in an intensive care unit in Kyiv hospital.

"[Information] from doctors of emergency care hospital where Balukh is being treated: 'The patient's condition is stably severe. He is on a ventilator.' Unfortunately, the information is disappointing for now," she wrote on Facebook on September 9.

Read alsoEx-political prisoner Balukh attacked in Kyiv – SentsovAssault on Balukh: background

  • Former Russian political prisoner Oleh Sentsov said Volodymyr Balukh had been assaulted in Kyiv overnight Tuesday, September 8. Meanwhile, September 7 marked a year since his successful return to Ukraine after he was released from a Russian prison.
  • Sentsov said Balukh was found in the morning, with his arm and collarbone fractured.
  • Balukh underwent surgery, having suffered a severe head injury. He has since remained in grave but stable condition.

Who is Volodymyr Balukh

  • Balukh is a Crimean farmer, who was detained by Russia's FSB Federal Security Service on December 8, 2016.
  • FSB operatives claimed they had allegedly found 90 ammunition rounds and several TNT explosives in his attic.
  • It is widely believed though that security operatives had detained the man for his firm political stance: he had a Ukrainian flag flying over his house, which he refused to remove despite persistent demands of local authorities, KHPG watchdog reported.
  • On July 5, 2018, a Russian-controlled court in Crimea sentenced him to five years in a penal colony and a RUB 10,000 fine.
  • On October 3, 2018, the so-called "Supreme Court of Crimea" reviewed Balukh's original verdict and reduced his term to four years and 11 months.
  • On September 7, 2019, he was handed back to Ukraine as part of a major prisoner swap effort.