10:02 Aug. 24, 2016
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov is serving 20-year sentence in Russian prison for 'planning terror attacks' in his native Crimea
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who is behind bars in Russia, has called on Ukrainians not to fight for his release "at any price, as it would not bring the victory nearer," according to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
In a letter obtained by RFE/RL on August 22, Sentsov wrote that the only thing he and others Ukraine considers political prisoners jailed in Russia can do for their homeland is "to hold on."
"Be aware that we are not your weak point. If our destiny is to become nails in the lid of the tyrant's coffin, then yes, I would like to be such a nail. Just remember, that nail will never bend," wrote Sentsov, whose case has become a cause celebre in Ukraine.
In August 2015, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a sham trial that was deplored by many as a "farce". Sentsov was found guilty of the creation of a terrorist organisation, planning to carry out terrorist attacks in his native Crimea, illegal possession and attempt to traffic arms.
The filmmaker denies the charges as totally fabricated by the Russian occupiers.