Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian filmmaker from Crimea sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Russian military court in Rostov-on-Don. He is well-known throughout Ukraine, with his most popular film being 2012’s Gámer. In 2013, Sentsov put his next film on hold to protest Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
In May 2014, Oleg Sentsov was arrested by Russia’s FSB (the successor to the KGB) at his home in Simferopol. Simferopol is the largest city in Crimea, a region which Russia seized from Ukraine via a highly controversial March 2014 referendum which was condemned as illegal by the United Nations. Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a military court in August 2015.
Sentsov described being tortured while detained, a claim which was not investigated by the court. The only two witnesses who testified against him also stated that their testimonies were given under torture. When asked if he understood his sentence, Sentsov stood up in his glass cage and sang the Ukrainian national anthem.
Oleg Sentsov is currently being held in a prison camp at an undisclosed location in Russia, where he is scheduled to remain until August 2035.