A High-Profile Trial On Kidnapped Ukrainians Starts In Russia
21 July, 2015

An open hearing of Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko case has started today in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

Sentsov is a prominent Ukrainian filmmaker whose film The Gamer (2011) earnt him critical acclaim. When Russian soldiers entered Crimea is March 2014, Sentsov, who was born in Simferopol, decided to help and support local activists and Ukrainian soldiers on the peninsula. The new Russian authorities arrested Senstov in Simferopol, Crimea on 11 May, 2014, for allegedly being a member of the ‘terrorist group‘, Right Sector, a Ukrainian far-right political party. Oleksandr Kolchenko is Crimean anti-fascist and social activist.

Prosecutors accuse Sentsov of organizing terrorist acts on the Crimean territory, while Kolchenko is being accused of taking part in it.

"Sentsov can get up to 20 years in prison, and the minimum for Kolchenko is 10 years", told Hromadske Oleksandr Kolchenko's lawyer Svitlana Sydorkina. Her client told her that conditions here, in Rostov prison, are tougher than they were in Moscow. Oleg Sentsov has also spoken on the matter: he told Hromadske there are three other men in his cell and a TV, usually they watch Russian news. The also prison has a good library.

// Filmed 07.21.2015