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Ukraine demands doctors see Crimean held by Russia

He is in an extremely difficult condition.

Ukraine demands doctors see Crimean held by Russia
Volodymyr Balukh

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded that Russia allow doctors to check on Volodymyr Balukh held in the Simferopol remand centre, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Maryana Betsa, tweeted on 21 January. She was commenting on reports that Balukh had not been provided with medical aid.

"Denying medical aid is inhumane and cruel. We demand that the Russian Federation allow doctors to see political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh," Betsa tweeted.

Earlier, Crimean rights activists said that he had back, kidney and heart problems.

"Balukh is in the Simferopol remand centre, in a cell for those on their way to penal settlements, thus there is no order in the cell. His health condition is still bad but he has no medical aid," journalist Anton Naumlyuk said on Facebook on 20 January.

On 16 January, the Rozdolne district court in Russia-annexed Crimea sentenced local Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh to three years and seven months in a penal settlement. He will also have to pay a 10,000-rouble [176 dollars] fine. Balukh is accused of storing weapons, which rights activists believe were planted on him by local police.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the trial a "kangaroo court".

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