“Pointless waiting”: flashmobs for Ukrainian political prisoners held in 11 international airports

On 26 November 2017, on the 28th birthday of Ukrainian political prisoner Oleksandr Kolchenko, which he spends in Russian prison for the fourth year in a row, “Pointless waiting” flashmobs were held in the airports of 9 countries and 11 cities. Activists and diplomats held signs with the names of nearly 60 Ukrainians who are imprisoned by Russia on political motives. This flashmob was founded by Czech human rights activists and was held on an irregular basis in the airport of Prague. The activists waited, pointlessly, for the victims of the Russian repressive regime who could have arrived but will never be able to do this. On this 26 November, the event was specifically dedicated to Ukrainian political prisoners who are victims of Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine.

This time, the flashmob was held by relatives of the political prisoners, diplomats, and activists in Kyiv (Ukraine):

Lviv (Ukraine):

Odesa (Ukraine):

Bucharest (Romania):

Prague (Czech Republic):

Astana (Kazakhstan):

Warsaw (Poland):

Barcelona (Spain):

Helsinki (Finland):


Riga (Latvia):

Toronto (Canada):

(photos coming, check back later…)
Oleksandr Kolchenko is a Crimean activist who opposed Russia’s occupation of Crimea and in August 2015 was sentenced to 10 years in a penal colony by a Russian court in Rostov-on-Don, having been accused of terrorism. Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov was sentenced with him to 20 years in jail, Oleksiy Chirniy – to 7 years, and Gennadiy Afanasyev – to 10 years. Later, Afanasyev, together with Ukrainian political prisoner Yuriy Soloshenko, who was accused of spying, was exchanged for two Ukrainians sentenced by a Ukrainian court of separatist activities in the Odesa Oblast. Afanasyev and Soloshenko are now free. But at least 56 Ukrainians are now imprisoned by Russia on political motives.