Russian Prison Colony Tries to Void Balukh’s Ukrainian Citizenship
Ukrainian consul tried to visit Balukh, when the administration of the colony canceled the visit, saying that he is a Russian citizen
Photo Facebook Zair Smedlya
Russia is trying to take away Ukrainian citizenship from Volodymyr Balukh, kept in a penal colony in the city of Torzhok, Tver region of Russia.
The Ukrainian prisoner of the Kremlin, Volodymyr Balukh, who was illegally detained and abducted from occupied Crimea and taken to Russia, has sent a letter to Ukrainian activist Olena Popova on May 13, which she shared on the Facebook page of the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Crimea.
According to the prisoner’s letter, he is still locked in the penal ward, and he is aware that the Ukrainian consul tried to visit him but was denied because the colony’s administration started considering him as a Russian citizen.
“You have surely heard that they even trying to take away my citizenship – didn’t allow to meet with Ukrainian consul, stating that they consider that I am the citizen of RF [the Russian Federation], because I have a Crimean registry,” Balukh wrote.
According to the explanation, given by Balukh’s attorney Olha Dinze to the outlet Crimea.Realities, the administration of the colony seeks to make him look like the worst offender of the standing order, in order to exclude the possibility of his parole.
She also said that at her last visit to the colony, Balukh was in bad health.
“As a result of being in isolation ward, he suffers leg swelling. This can be evidence of kidney trouble,” she said.
On May 7, the Ukrainian consul tried to visit Balukh. The administration of the colony canceled the visit by saying that he is a Russian citizen, Crimean Human Rights Group reported.
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