MOSCOW — Russian officials say an incarcerated Ukrainian filmmaker has gone on hunger strike to demand the release of Ukrainian prisoners in Russia.
Oleg Sentsov, a vocal opponent of Russia's annexation of his native Crimea, was convicted of conspiracy to commit terror attacks by a Russian military court in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years. The case against him was largely seen as a retribution for his views, and Ukrainian authorities and art circles have mounted a worldwide campaign for his release.
Penitentiary officials in Siberia's Yakutia where Sentsov is held, said Wednesday that the filmmaker has been refusing to take his meals since Monday.
Sentsov's lawyer Dmitry Dinze told the Meduza website the filmmaker wrote a note to the prison's chief, vowing to stick to his hunger strike until Russia releases all of its Ukrainian political prisoners.