Kiev offers to swap jailed Russian Federation journalist for filmmaker Sentsov

Kirill Vyshinsky Piotr Sivkov  TASS

Kirill Vyshinsky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview show that Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested prisoners exchange based on an all-for-all principle, the Kyiv Post reported Wednesday. Dozens of Ukrainians have been put on trial by Russian authorities and convicted in what have largely been perceived as politically-motivated cases.

It says European Union member states should organize "missions involving independent physicians to Ukrainian citizens who are detained by political motivation" in Russia and Russian-annexed Crimea to monitor their detention conditions and their health. Kiev says the charges are politically motivated and past year Sentsov staged a hunger strike and went 145 days without solid food. Zelenskiy has said he will do everything in his power to end the conflict. Vyshynsky, who holds both Ukrainian and Russian citizenship, was detained by Kiev in 2018 and is awaiting trial on treason charges.

"We can give you Mr. Vyshinsky if you want", Zelenskiy told reporters, addressing the Kremlin.

Earlier today, Moscow's Lefortovo District Court extended the detention of all 24 captive Ukrainian sailors until October this year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on May 27 that it hoped that the newly elected European Parliament would assist Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression. "Despite numerous statements of the desire to establish peace as soon as possible, by its actions, the Kremlin is demonstrating its frank intention to continue the hybrid war against Ukraine", the statement says.

Zelensky underlined that he would do his best to first return all those who are in Russian Federation and that the swap should start with the sailors. This week a Russian court prolonged the detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured previous year near Crimea, in a move decried by Kiev.

Sentsov is arguably the highest-profile Ukrainian imprisoned in Russian Federation. The two ex-Soviet countries have been locked in a confrontation since 2014 when Moscow annexed Crimea and supported an insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

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