Mustafa Dzhemilev, former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Ukrainian MP and the presidential envoy for the affairs of Crimean Tatar people, stated that Kremlin needs Ukrainian hostages to have “exchange material.” He said it in an interview for Priamy.
“Roughly speaking, Putin always has exchange material. I mean, it doesn’t matter whether they committed something or not – he is just gathering these people. After releasing one or two persons today, he will take ten more tomorrow, or maybe more,” Dzhemilev said.
According to him, Russia can release the political prisoners only because of sanctions – “it doesn’t understand” another language.
“Sentsov, Balukh – these are completely innocent people. They are the patriots of their country. They never committed any crime, against Russia particularly. They just oppose Crimea’s occupation. And they are detained,” Dzhemilev said.
64 Ukrainian political prisoners are kept in Russia and annexed Crimea. 27 of them are on the Russian territory.