Klyment, the Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea addressed the Russian president Vladimir Putin. In the letter, the head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate in Crimea asked the Russian leader to pardon Oleg Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh and other political prisoners from Ukraine who currently serve time in Russia.
'The hunger strikes announced by Oleg Sentsov and Volodymyr Balukh as a protest against the lawlessness and injustice make me feel horrible when I realize what is happening. They are ready to die for the triumph of justice and God's truth. A human life if the God's gift, and it's priceless. The basis of the human existence is love, compassion, and forgiveness. Be mercyful, like the Christ, your Heavenly Father told us', Klyment wrote.
As we reported, on July 5, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and his cousin Natalya Kaplan met at the 'Belyi Medved' (Russian for 'White Bear', - 112 International) penal colony in northern Russia, where the Ukrainian political prisoner currently serves time. The last time Kaplan saw him when the court announced the verdict in his case.
Sentsov announced the hunger strike in May, demanding to release Ukrainian political prisoners. He's been starving for more than 50 days now.
Volodymyr Balukh, who also announced a hunger strike, demanding to set him free, has been holding on to the strike for more than a hundred consecutive days.