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Poroshenko orders to raise issue of releasing Ukrainians in Russia at peace talks

August 26, 2015, 12:55 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Russia
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Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov found guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in prison

Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov found guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in prison

© TASS/Valeriy Matytsin

KIEV, August 26. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed the Ukrainian members of the Contact Group to raise the issue of the release of Ukrainian citizens Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko, deputy head of the presidential administration Konstantin Yeliseyev told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

"The next meeting of the Contact Group will take place, and the Ukrainian president has held a meeting. He gave the relevant instructions to the members of our delegation. One of the important directives was to insist on issues related to the verdict against Ukrainian citizens Sentsov and Kolchenko, and we will be very adamant about this," he said.

The North Caucasus District Military Court on Tuesday found Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorist attacks in Crimea and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. His accomplice Alexander Kolchenko got ten years in prison.

According to investigators, Sentsov set up in Crimea a terrorist group, which set two offices on fire in Simferopol, Crimea’s capital, in the spring of 2014 and was planning to blow up a statue of Bolshevik revolution leader Vladimir Lenin.

Sentsov and Kolchenko pleaded not guilty and said the charges were politicized. Prosecutors had sought a term of 23 years for Sentsov and 12 years for Kolchenko.

Two more defendants in the case - Gennady Afanasyev and Alexey Chirniy - were earlier sentenced to 7 years in prison each.

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