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Ukrainian political prisoner Kolchenko stops hunger strike: he is too weak

'I hope he will not be angry as I gave up so soon', he wrote in the latter passed to advocate
13:01, 7 June 2018

Open source

Ukrainian political prisoner Oleksandr Kolchenko convicted in Russia to 10 years of imprisonment announced that he gives up the hunger strike begun a week ago. His advocate Andry Lepyokhin reported this on Facebook.

'Oleksandr Kolchenko has stopped the hunger strike today. According to him, he is too weak and begins to faint. The blood sugar got low and he was provided glucose. His weight dropped to 54 kilograms during the hunger strike', Lepyokhin reported.

Related: UK urges Russia to release 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, especially those on hunger strike

He also specified that it was planned to transfer Kolchenko from the infirmary of the colony to the prison hospital due to the medical reasons.

The advocate noted that Kolchenko was forced to refuse from the hunger strike for many times.

'During the hunger strike, Oleksandr was forced in presence of the colony's head to stop it by the members of the local Social Monitoring Commission and representatives of the ombudswoman of Chelyabinsk Oblast. Ombudswoman Pavlova even did not come to Kolchenko in colony but wrote a letter to the bar chamber, attempting to put pressure on the advocate and force me to convince Oleksandr to give up the hunger strike', Lepyokhin said.

Related: EU green alliance publishes map of Russia with places of political prisoners' holding

The advocate also published the photo of the letter written by Kolchenko.

'I am obliged to admit that I overrated by forces – I turned out to be too weak. I decided to stop the hunger strike. Otherwise, I would put my health in the unnecessary risk', the prisoner wrote.

Related: Donald Tusk called EU and G7 to stand up for Oleg Sentsov

Kolchenko called the hunger strike unnecessary risk due to the fact that any such protest counts that the state will try to minimize the reputations losses, while 'the reputation of modern Russia can be barely harmed by anything'. Moreover, the visit of French President Macron to Russia shows the unwilling of the Normandy Four countries to strengthen the pressure on Russia as Kolchenko is sure.

'I really want to hope that I am wrong in the estimation of the situation with Oleg Sentsov. I hope he will not be angry as I gave up so soon', Kolchenko concluded the letter.

Related: Poroshenko discusses UN peacekeeping mission with Trudeau

Oleksandr Kolchenko began his starvation campaign on May 31; Sentsov began the hunger strike on May 14, demanding to release all Ukrainian political prisoners.

As it is known, Ukrainian movie director Oleg Sentsov and Crimean activist Oleksandr Kolchenko were detained by the Russian FSB in the annexed Crimea. Both were taken to Russia. Sentsov was charged with preparing a terrorist act in Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in the high-security penal colony. Kolchenko was sentenced to ten-years-long imprisonment.

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