Eight Russian citizens have written a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking to be exchanged for Ukrainian political prisoners, Ukrainian Human Rights Commissioner Lyudmyla Denisova reported.
During her monitoring of the detention centers, Denisova met with the Russians, who gave her their requests to be exchanged.
“The following asked to be exchanged: Vyacheslav Vysotsky (Cherkasy penal colony No. 62), Valery Ivanov and Alexander Valekhidis (Drohobych penal colony No. 40), Vladislav Grechin (Odessa penitentiary institution No. 21), Viktor Ageyev (Romny penal colony No. 56), Oleg Doronin (Horodyshche penal colony No. 96), Denis Sidorov and Evgeny Shatalov (Zhytomyr penitentiary institution No. 8)” the Ukrainian ombudswoman wrote.
Denisova has previously received similar requests from other Russians: Alexey Sedikov (Buchansk penal colony) as well as Alexander Sattarov and Farukh Kamalov (Lukyanivska pre-trial detention center).
Farukh Kamalov was Crimea’s deputy minister of sport under the Russian government on the peninsula. In February 2018, he was arrested on charges of high treason by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on the administrative border with Crimea.
Alexander Sattarov belonged to the Interior Ministry’s special Berkut division in Dnipro, Ukraine. According to the investigation, he took part in the annexation of Crimea, particularly in the capture of administrative buildings. He was arrested in December 2017.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, more than 70 Ukrainian political prisoners are being held in Russia and in annexed Crimea. Activists in Ukraine and throughout the world continue to demand that Russia and President Putin release the illegally detained Ukrainians.