On 14 May 2018, Oleg Sentsov, a film director deported to eastern Siberia, began a hunger strike after four years of imprisonment. Another illegally-detained Ukrainian citizen, Mr Volodymyr Balukh, has also recently spent two months on hunger strike.
They have opposed the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and were sentenced, by courts whose jurisdiction the EU does not recognise, in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice.
Adding to the extremely worrying number of Crimean Tatars who have been persecuted and had their rights gravely violated, activists Server Mustafayev and Edem Smailov were also detained on 21 May 2018.
The European Union expects international human rights standards on the peninsula to be upheld and all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and on the Crimean peninsula to be released without delay.