Russia's culture minister won't be rescuing jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov

Meduza

Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov has won lots of supporters with his hunger strike calling for the release of Russia's “Ukrainian political prisoners,” but Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky doesn't appear to be one of them. On June 12, Medinsky told the television network Dozhd that he isn't following Sentsov's hunger strike very closely.

The culture minister admitted that he's “worried” about Sentsov's health, but he called the director's hunger strike “a tragedy” and “his own decision and position.” “This doesn't really fall within the Culture Ministry's scope of activity,” Medinsky explained.

Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in Crimea. There has been an international campaign to lobby for his release. Read Meduza’s summary of why his case matters here. He has been on a hunger strike for Ukrainian political prisoners since May 14.