During a session of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia has been considering the fate of prisoners, especially the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, but does not intend to “take a step towards Ukraine”.
During the session, filmmaker Alexander Sokurov pointed out that Russia is experiencing great tension in connection with foreign policy problems. In this regard, he was particularly interested in the fate of the Ukrainian political prisoner, Sentsov.
“The next question which you will probably expect from me is: can we go back to Oleh Sentsov’s fate? Time has passed. Could it be that we need to preempt these Ukrainian politicians, who have been of no use. Maybe we need to take a first step?” Sokurov asked.
“It will soon be New Year… Perhaps it would make sense to announce amnesty, presidential amnesty, to release some of the tension in the country?” the filmmaker suggested.
To this, Putin responded: “It won’t work to preempt the Ukrainian politicians, because they themselves don’t know today what they are going to do tomorrow. They are in a state of Brownian motion. But, nevertheless, it is definitely necessary to think about the problems you brought up in the end of you address. We are thinking about this.”
He continued his response by saying that Russian prisons should be moved “away from remote places, to cities, to civilization”.
Oleh Sentsov was arrested by Russian security services in the Crimea in May 2014 on the charges of organizing terrorist attacks on the peninsula.
In August 2015, the North Caucasus District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced Oleh Sentsov to 20 years in a penal colony on the charges of organizing terrorist activities within the territory of the Crimea.
Oleg Sentsov never confessed his guilt. Human rights organizations believe these accusations to be groundless and politically motivated.