The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine urged its international partners to increase pressure on Russia to free the Ukrainian director, Crimean Oleg Sentsov, who went on a hunger strike while staying in the penal colony in the Russian city of Labytnangi.
"The political prisoner Sentsov put his life on the line in order to free the hostages of the Kremlin. We call on partners to pressure Russia to free Sentsov," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Mariana Betsa wrote on Twitter.
On May 16, Sentsov announced an indefinite hunger strike while demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners who are in Russian jails. Afterwards, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called on the international community to continue applying pressure on Russia for the speedy release of Ukrainians illegally detained there.
Sentsov and Crimean Oleksandr Kolchenko were detained by representatives of the Russian FSB in the Crimea in May 2014 on charges of organizing terrorist attacks on the peninsula. In August 2015, the North Caucasian District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in a strict-security colony on charges of terrorist activities on the territory of the Crimea. Kolchenko was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Both Kolchenko and Sentsov continue to maintain their innocence.
The Memorial Human Rights Center added Sentsov and Kolchenko to its official list of political prisoners.