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The shadowy trial to Crimean activists


The director Oleg Sentsov and anti-fascist activist Oleksandr Kolchenko risk twenty years in prison for opposing the annexation of Crimea. The military court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, took to trial behind closed doors the two Ukrainians, already in prison for more than a year.

Before being a terrorist, Oleg Sentsov was an independent director widelyremarked in Ukraine and in the fil festival circle. One evening, shortly after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, he threw a Molotov cocktail against the local branch of United Russia, Putin’s party. The office was empty and the damage was limited to the door a bit burned and a broken window. Sentsov was arrested along with Oleksandr Kolchenko, Gennady Afanasyev and Oleksy Chirny, other activists who had opposed the Russian annexation of their land. The four were allegedly beaten, tortured an threatened of death before being moved quickly in a temporary prison in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia and charged with terrorism under the Russian Criminal Code. The investigation was kept secret for several months, until Afanasyev and Chirny have been judged guilty behind closed doors and sentenced to seven years, the minimum penalty for the crime of terrorism. Which suggests that they have decided to cooperate with the FSB to indict Kolchenko and Sentsov. The trial of the latter began behind closed doors a few days ago and could be concluded already by the end of the month. Because, according to many, the sentence is already written.

Chekhov’s Box

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