In the spring of 2014 in Crimea, Russian federal security service arrested Ukrainian citizen Oleg Sentsov due to suspicion of terrorism.
Oleg is a film director. During the period of the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, he was an auto Maidan activist, carrying food and supplies to the Crimean military units blocked by Russian troops.
In August of 2015, he was sentenced for 20 years in prison. Oleg did not admit to his guilt; he stated that he was tortured to make him plead guilty. Court sessions had a lot of legislation infringements. Materials within the criminal case contain signs of falsification.
Oleg is recognized as a political prisoner by Memorial (the most respectful Human Rights NGO in Russia). Apart from him, there are 71 more Ukrainian citizens in Russian prisons arrested on political motives. Oleg says there are about 64 Ukrainians; data may vary, and one of the lists of Ukrainian citizens held in Russia as political prisoners is presented by OVDinfo – a Russian human rights organization.
On the 14th of May 2018, Oleg went on hunger strike with the demand for the release of all Russian political prisoners of which are Ukrainian citizens.
Stanislav Zimovets (a Russian citizen and Russian political prisoner, arrested during the anti-Putin demonstration on the 26th of March 2017), Alexander Shumakov (a Ukrainian citizen and Russian political prisoner), Alexander Kolchenko (a Ukrainian citizen and Russian political prisoner, treated by the Russian court as an accomplice of Oleg Sentsov), Stanislav Klih (a Ukrainian citizen and Russian political prisoner) also went on a hunger strike in support of Oleg’s demand. Moreover, a Ukrainian citizen and Russian political prisoner in Crimea Vladimir Baluh has been on a hunger strike for 2.5 months, against the illegal verdict.
The only person in Russia who is capable of meeting Oleg’s demand is Putin. Until the demand is met, those gone on hunger strike will continue and will die eventually.