KYIV (QHA) -

Ukrainian activist, political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh stops his hunger strike.

Balukh announced about his decision in a letter that the Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea UOC KP Klement read out at a press conference on October 9.

“Dear Ukrainhood, I appeal to you in the last days of my stay in captivity of the Simferopol detention center. Next is colony. Over the past 22 months, my physical and mental survival was impossible without you, your sincere, active participation in my destiny and the fate of my family. Thank you all for the immense support. Having used the last chance to find at least a crack in the punitive system of the invader, where the sprouts of common sense, or hints of honor would be still burning, I decided to stop the hunger strike,” Archbishop Klement cited Balukh’s letter.

In addition, Volodymyr Balukh in the event of his death asks not to bury him in the occupied territory.

 “I will try to keep myself in this oxymoron, but in no case do not do it at any cost. The honor and dignity of my people, defended at the cost of the lives of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundreds, cost more than my life. That is why I will not allow myself to eat food from the hands of the invaders nor wear their prison uniform. Understanding the consequences of effective compliance by me with the text of this statement, I appeal to you and ask you to fulfill my last will: in case of physical or mental death, do not leave my body in the occupied territory. I leave the choice for the location of my body to my family. I would like it to be the countryside on the banks of the Dnieper near Kyiv. With an irresistible faith in the good fortune of Ukraine, I hand over my destiny into the hands of the Most High. Low bow to everyone who loves Ukrainehood, cares about its preservation and development .... Glory to Ukraine!” says the letter.

A copy of the letter was posted on the Facebook page of the Crimean Human Rights Group.

Volodymyr Balukh went on an indefinite hunger strike on March 19, 2018. A month later, after a complete rejection of food intake, he began to consume oatmeal starch drink, dried bread and black tea.

Reference: The Ukrainian social activist, Crimean resident Volodymyr Balukh after the annexation of the Crimea refused Russian citizenship. He placed the Ukrainian flag in the courtyard of his house, openly took a pro-Ukrainian position.

The FSB of Russia detained Volodymyr Balukh in December 2016. FSB officers claimed that they found cartridges and TNT cartridges in the attic of the house of Balukh. Human rights activists claim that the occupying power detained Balukh for his views.

The Razdolnensky District Court controlled by the Russian Federation sentenced Volodymyr Balukh to 5 years in a general regime colony and a fine of 10 thousand rubles in a combination of two criminal cases - allegedly for beating the head of the detention facility in Crimea and for illegal acquisition, sale and possession of weapons. March 19, 2018 Balukh declared an indefinite hunger strike.

On October 3, the Kremlin-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea reversed the sentence to the political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh. The judge did not satisfy the appeal of the defense, but only for a month reduced the term of Balukh’s serving sentence in a penal colony from 5 years to 4 years 11 months, leaving in force a fine of 10 thousand rubles.

QHA