Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Ignores Pleas for Release of 'Terrorist' Ukrainian Filmmaker

Crimean director Oleg Sentsov was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation at his home in Simferopol in June.

A Crimean filmmaker accused of terrorism by Russia will remain in detention despite an open letter in his support by icons of European filmmaking.

Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court on Monday extended Oleg Sentsov's stay in custody until October 11, Interfax reported.

Sentsov, who opposed Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, was detained in May by the Russian security services.

He stands accused of having helped with the preparations of several bombings in Crimea's capital Simferopol in cahoots with activists of Ukraine's ultranationalist group Right Sector, which has been routinely lambasted as "fascist" by Russian state media.

Sentsov, 38, faces up to 20 years in prison on terrorist charges.

The filmmaker, whose debut feature "The Gamer" (2011) screened at the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam, pleaded not guilty.

Sentsov's arrest was denounced by Amnesty International, and a number of European filmmakers, including Ken Loach, Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders and Krzysztof Zanussi, published an open letter last month in support of his release.

Famous Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, who is known for his pro-Kremlin stance, also called for Crimean filmmaker's release, but to no avail.

See also:

European Filmmakers Call On Putin After Crimean Jailed for Terrorism

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.