I am confused due to recognition that I am media persona, - Balukh

Source : 112 Ukraine

According to Balukh, the most important is to stay a human
13:00, 17 September 2019


Released Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh admitted that he did not even know that he is such a media persona as Ukrinform reported.

“Actually, I am very confused exactly due to this reason that I start to realize my media persona. After a few days of communication with the press and people…Staying there (in the Russian jail, -, I had no idea that it happens so here,” Balukh said.

Volodymyr added that the most important is to be himself and to remain a human.

“The fact that you got the opposition to the media effect from the management of the remand center or the colony – it is true, there is no escape from it,” Balukh said when he was asked how media fame influenced his life in the captivity.

Related: Zelensky hopes for solution of issue of prisoner swap at Normandy Format Summit

Lawyer Dmytro Dinze, in his turn, noted that for a system it is more important to break a media persona.

“The system took it out on Volodymyr and tried to turn this media fame against him. That is why he was transferred to colony in Torzhok with such awful conditions,” the lawyer noted.

On September 7, the prisoners’ exchange took place between Kyiv and Moscow in 35 for 35 format.

24 Ukrainian sailors and 11 political prisoners - already ex-political prisoners - captured by Russia over the past five years, returned to Ukraine. Faces of the released Ukrainian sailors, left activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, journalist Roman Sushchenko, Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov and the rest of former captives were seen in the crowd.

Related: Pope welcomes prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia

Balukh was arrested on December 8, 2016, nine days after he nailed a plaque renaming his home No. 18 to “Heroes of Nebesna Sotnya St’ in memory of the over 100 Maidan activists who were killed during Euromaidan protests in Ukraine. 

He had rejected the demands of the head of the local council to remove it. During an irregular ‘search’ of his home, 90 bullets and several TNT explosive devices were allegedly found in his attic. 

September 10, 2018, the Supreme Court of occupied Crimea controlled by the Kremlin did not grant the appeal of Volodymyr Balukh’s lawyer Olga Dinze on his conditional release. It was noted that the activist participated in the session through a video conference from the remand prison.


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