Russian court sentences Crimean activist Prykhodko to five years in prison

News
Canan Kevser
03 March 2021, 18:31
Canan Kevser
03 March 2021, 18:31

A Russian court has sentenced a pro-Ukrainian activist from Crimea Oleh Prykhodko to five years in prison and a fine of 110,000 rubles ($1,500).

"The Southern Military District Court in Rostov-on-Don found Crimean political prisoner Oleh Prykhodko guilty of storage of explosives and preparation for a terrorist attack and sentenced him to five years in a maximum-security prison," the Crimean Solidarity NGO reported.

On February 25, the Russian public prosecutor asked to sentence the activist to 11 years in a maximum-security prison and a fine of 200,000 rubles.

Ukrainian Ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova called the court's ruling "unlawful" and "based on fabricated charges of an attempted terrorist attack and plotting an arson attack against the Russian Consulate in [Ukraine's western city of] Lviv in 2019."

"I condemn the unlawful verdict by the Russian court and consider it retaliation from the occupying government for Oleh's pro-Ukrainian stance [and] his public refusal to recognize Crimea's annexation by Russia," Denisova's statement said, while also saying that Prykhodko has a medical condition.

"I call on the international community to continue its pressure on the Russian Federation and demand the immediate release of all Kremlin critics," she added.

Also, as reported earlier, Oleh Prykhodko's wife and daughter were attacked and beaten up by unknown individuals in Russian-occupied Crimea on January 4, 2021.

Background

Oleh Prykhodko, a native of Crimea, headed the Saky town organization of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda Party before the occupation of Crimea.

The 62-year-old man lives in the city of Saky in Crimea and works as a blacksmith and metal carver. He has never hidden his pro-Ukrainian position and publicly condemned Crimea's accession to Russia in 2014.

After 2014, when Russia illegally invaded Crimea, he couldn't leave the peninsula.

Police officers began to visit him and suggested removing a Ukrainian flag from his house and retracting his words. Oleg Prykhodko opposed such visits. 

In October 2019, Moscow special services, together with the representatives of the local occupation "administration," abducted and imprisoned Oleh Prykhodko.

He was charged with illegally fabricating handmade explosives with the intention of carrying out a terrorist act. Prykhodko denies all the charges, calling them politically motivated.

In April 2020, he was taken to the territory of the Russian Federation, to the Rostov pre-trial detention centre No.1, where he was placed in solitary confinement.