Ukrainian victim of Russia’s first “absolutely Stalinist trial” spends 4th birthday in brutal isolation


Author: Halya Coynash

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kolchenko is spending a fourth birthday in Russian captivity, one of the first victims of Russia’s mounting appetite for fake ‘terrorism’ show trials, aimed at crushing dissent, and trying to provide justification for Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea.

He and Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov are imprisoned about as far away from their families, the media and international diplomatic missions as Moscow could achieve, with Sentsov recently moved to an especially harsh prison north of the Arctic Circle to prevent any publicity.

Activists in both Ukraine and the Czech Republic will mark Sasha Kolchenko’s birthday in various ways, including by holding flashmobs in airport arrival halls entitled “Waiting in vain”. Each will have a sign, with Kolchenko’s name. While timed to coincide with Kolchenko’s birthday, the waiting in vain is, by now, for around 60 political prisoners whom Russia is holding in Crimea or Russia.

The rapidly rising number of political prisoners; the fact that those with ‘dissident’ views, especially opposition to Russia’s occupation of Crimea’, and the unconvincing imitation of trials are just some of the ways in which Russia is increasingly following the Soviet Union’s tradition of political persecution.

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