14:15 May. 26, 2016
Poroshenko hopes for soon return of Hennadiy Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko
Following the return of Nadiya Savchenko, two other Ukrainian citizens illegally imprisoned in Russia - Hennadiy Afanasyev and Yuriy Soloshenko - will also come back home. That is according to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, who is promising to return the captives whose state of health is critical.
The President says in three-four weeks there will be a significant progress in the liberation of other Ukrainian political prisoners. Officially, Russia is currently holding about three dozen of them on baseless and sometimes absurd accusations.
Two weeks ago, Afanasyev and Soloshenko were convoyed to Moscow after Russian authorities received the request from the Ukrainian side for their extradition.
"This is just the beginning, because we are waiting for Soloshenko, Afanasyev, Sentsov, Kolchenko to return home and many other Ukrainians, who are now held hostage in Russia as well as in the militant-held occupied territories (in eastern Ukraine)" the president stated.
Hennadiy Afanasyev, a 25-year-old lawyer and photographer, was arrested in May 2014 in Crimea together with Oleh Senstov and two others. He was sentenced by the Russian court to seven years in a penal colony after being convicted of conspiring to commit terrorism in Russia.
Despite worsening health he is being denied medical care, according to the lawyers and human rights advocates.
Another Ukrainian citizen, 73-year-old Yuriy Soloshenko who is the former director of Ukraine's Poltava-based Znamya defense plant, was accused of purchasing goods for constructing anti-aircraft warfare for the Ukrainian army and sentenced in Russia to six years in high-security prison.
Soloshenko has an oncology disease and relatives say it can happen that he will not live to see the extradition.