Ukrainian World Congress welcomes return of Ukrainian political prisoners from Russian jails

#UWC news
September 7,2019 103

Earlier today 35 Ukrainian political prisoners illegally jailed by Russia returned home to Ukraine. For their freedom, Ukraine turned over to Russia 35 persons detained in Ukraine.

“We welcome the release of the illegally jailed Ukrainian citizens and sailors,” stated Paul Grod, UWC President.  “We congratulate President Zelenskyy for his successful efforts in securing the release and for his commitment to free the many remaining Ukrainian political prisoners who remain illegally incarcerated in Russian jails.” 

“Ukraine had to pay a high price for the freedom of its citizens – many of those turned over to Russia today are perpetrators in Russia’s war against Ukraine and are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  We call on the international community to bring these criminals to justice.” 

Today’s action once again shows that Russia continues to wage a war of aggression against Ukraine. 

UWC calls on the international community to: 

  • demand the Russian government immediately release all remaining Ukrainian political prisoners illegally jailed in Russian prisons; and
  • immediately implement sanctions against Russian officials responsible for these deplorable violations of inalienable human rights. 

The 24 Ukrainian sailors included in today’s exchange have been subject to illegal and extrajudicial proceedings, and 3 months ago ordered to be freed by the United Nations Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. 

UWC expresses its deep solidarity and profound admiration for the courage of Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and all other Ukrainian political prisoners, victims of a repressive, brutal Russian regime that routinely and systematically flouts international law, universal human rights, and wages wars of aggression against its neighbours.

List of Ukrainians freed today.