President: Russian repressive machine hasn’t broken political prisoners Sushchenko and Balukh

President: Russian repressive machine hasn’t broken political prisoners Sushchenko and Balukh

Ukrainian political prisoners Roman Sushchenko and Volodymyr Balukh have not broken down and remained courageous and committed to their ideals, despite the methodical pressure of the Russian repressive machine.

“Today is the birthday of Volodymyr Balukh and Roman Sushchenko - the Ukrainians, whom the cynical Kremlin regime holds in prisons on absurd, fabricated charges. The strength and endurance of Volodymyr and Roman excite admiration as the methodical pressure of the repressive Kremlin machine has not broken them down. They are the real sons of Ukraine - courageous and committed to their ideals," President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook on the occasion of their birthday.

The President assured that the struggle for the liberation of all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and all the captives in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea was ongoing.

Poroshenko also stressed that there was no doubt about winning this fight.

As reported, February 8, Ukrinform correspondent Roman Sushchenko, illegally imprisoned in Russia, marks his 50th birthday. He is celebrating his holiday in a Russian prison for the third year in a row - the first two in Moscow's Lefortovo Prison and this year in a high-security penal colony in the Kirov region.

Ukrinform's Paris-based correspondent Roman Sushchenko was illegally detained on September 30, 2016 in Moscow, where he arrived on a private trip. On October 7, 2016, he was charged with "espionage." Russia's FSB claimed that Sushchenko is a member of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. The latter denied this allegation.

On June 4, 2018, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony. The Supreme Court of Russia upheld the verdict on September 12.

On October 8, it was reported that Sushchenko had been moved to a penal colony.

Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh also marks his birthday today, whom the Kremlin-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea sentenced to 4 years and 11 months in prison and a fine of RUR 10,000.

The Federal Security Service of Russia detained Volodymyr Balukh on December 8, 2016. The FSB officers claimed that they had found 90 cartridges and several TNT blocks in the attic of his house. Balukh's defense team and human rights defenders say that he is a victim of repression for his pro-Ukrainian position – Ukraine's flag in the courtyard of his home.

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