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For 838 days has been Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov illegally imprisoned in Russia. Over these three years, Ukrainian political prisoner has never complained for his life in Russian jail, and with his letters he supports and inspires the Ukrainians.
Oleg’s sister Natalia Kaplan has published a letter from Oleg Sentsov, which he wrote on the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day. It is addressed to all who are interested in Sentsov’s fate.
Oleg is Automaidan activist who helped to transport Ukrainian soldiers from the annexed Crimea. Almost a year ago, August 25, 2015, Russian Court has voiced his sentence.
But his captivity and tortures began earlier. May 10, 2014 the FSB officers kidnapped Oleg Sentsov at the door of his house in Simferopol; he was thrown into the bus and handcuffed. Russian propaganda called him a "terrorist," and Crimean activist was charged of creation of a terrorist group, committing two acts of terrorism, preparation for committing two acts of terrorism, illicit trafficking in arms and explosives.
Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in a high-security prison in the city of Yakutsk (Yakutia), which is 9,000 kilometers from Kyiv.
Oleg rarely receives the letters. As a rule, the colony employees just do not inform him of these letters. Natalia Kaplan told that this is the first letter which she received from Oleg in the last 2 months. The only way to hear from her brother to make a phone call once a month.
Compared to other Ukrainian political prisoners, Sentsov is placed in the most remote colony of Russia. Sentsov has been subjected to tortures, was quarantined, isolated from the outside world. Despite these challenges, he finds enough strength to support Ukrainians.
The letter from Oleg Sentsov:
“I have spent three years in the Russian prison. For the three years, my country has been suffering from the war. The enemy is fighting cowardly, pretending that he is innocent. No one trusts him, but this does not stop him. The war cannot be good, but the truth still with us; we do not attack anyone, we are just protecting ourselves.
Besides the main enemy, whose face we have already learned, there are other rivals. They are smaller. But they hide under our skin; they seem to be our friends. But they are against us. Someone wants to live in an old way, but in a new guise. It will not work. These “big” and “small” enemies might have different goals, but I know for sure that our ways do not cross. I would not like to make the predictions who wins. I already know who will win. No one can stop the desire for freedom and progress.
Lots of us are remain in captivity Russia and in Donbas. Some of us has been freed, while the others are still waiting for the release. Each of us has his own history and conditions of detention. Some people use the political prisoners for their own PR, and the others are really trying to help. I do not desire to become “a famous prisoner” and use this status for my faster exchange. That is not my way. I do not hog the covers. I am just a name in the list. I doubt that they would release me at the end of the line, but it would be a good choice.
The prisoners are deprived. I am not talking about our right for freedom. We are deprived of the right to work for the country. The only thing we can do is just to hold on. Do not try to fight for our release at any price, as it would not bring the victory nearer. Use us as a weapon against the enemy. 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.”
Glory to Ukraine!"