Ukrainian writer, filmmaker, and 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Awardee Oleg Sentsov, an outspoken critic of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and takeover of Crimea, is serving a 20-year sentence in a penal colony with notoriously harsh conditions after his arrest on terrorism charges that have been condemned by human rights groups as fabrications by a Russian government intent on silencing dissent. Today, the Day of Crimean Resistance to Russian Aggression, PEN America and a number of partners around the world are expressing their support for Sentsov with readings, rallies, and special events across the globe. Support partners around the world on social media using the hashtag #FreeSentsov.

Here is a roundup of the day’s events and individual actions. This post will be updated throughout the day as more actions take place.


New York (USA): PEN America, The Voice Project

PEN America called to #FreeSentsov at the Russian Consulate in New York


The Voice Project made a statement as a continuation of their past campaign for Oleg Sentsov


Kiev (Ukraine): Center of Civil Liberties, war of chimeras

Center of Civil Liberties gathered with Oleg’s supporters outside of Russian Embassy in Kiev. Rebecca Harms, German politician and Member of European Parlament (MEP) was there too


Ukrainian journalist, writer and filmmaker Maria Starozhitskaya organized a screening of her movie about the war on Donbas “War of Chimeras” and a flash mob “Kinoiliuzion” in support of Oleg Sentsov 




Odessa, Lviv, Vinnitcia, Henichesk, Drohobych, Chernigov (Ukraine): Center of Civil Liberties

A number of actions (demonstrations, lectures, discussions) happened in various cities in Ukraine. Here are some photos from all over country:



Toronto, Ottawa (Canada), Warsaw (Poland), Moscow (Russia), Antalya (Turkey), Riga (Latvia), Helsinki (Finland), Stanford (USA): Center of Civil Liberties

Center of Civil Liberties also organized actions abroad. Stanislav Vakarchuk, lead singer of well-known Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy participated in the one in Stanford (USA). More about the actions here >>



Crimea: Pussy Riot

Members of Pussy Riot were detained by police in Crimea while preparing an action in Oleg Sentsov’s hometown. 

After they were released, they tried to conduct the action again, this time successfully, at the railways station in Oleg Sentsov’s hometown Simferopol


Brussels (Belgium): International Partnership for Human Rights

In the weeks leading up to the Day of Crimean Resistance, Members of European Parliament from different parties showed their solidarity with Oleg Sentsov.

José Inácio Faria: MEP, EPP; Petras Austrevicius: MEP, ALDE; Tunne Kelam: MEP, EPP; Rebecca Harms: MEP, Group of the Green; Mark Demesmaeker: MEP, ECR; Austrevicius;

 Heidi Hautala: MEP, Group of the Green; Michael Gahler: MEP, EPP; Austrevicius

On the day itself, International Partnership for Human Rights organized a march for Oleg Sentsov which included artistic performance and reading of Oleg’s letter from prison. Read more»



Paris (France): Un-week-end-a-l’est, Les Nouveau Dissidents, France Culture, FIDH, Les Ecrans de Paris, Reflet Medicis, Transfuce, L’Harmattan

In Paris, a number of partners worked together to mobilize a vast audience for a night of readings by the actor Mathieu Amalric and projection of the movie The Trial about Sentsov’s trial, in the presence of Christiane Taubira, former French Minister of the Justice. The audience counted about 150 people.



Berlin (Germany): Berlinale, European Film Academy, Gethsemane church


On February 26, there was also a prayer organized for Oleg Sentsov in Gethsemane Church in Germany. The announcement looked like this:

DATE & Time: 26 Feb 2018, 6pm German time
Location: Gethsemane church, Berlin – Prenzlauer Berg, Stargarder Straße 77
What: Prayer for Peace & the Release of prisoners who are incarcerated without fair trial – dedicated to OLEG SENTSOV, OLEKSANDER KOLCHENKO AND STANISLAV KLYKH 
Atheists, agnostics, and people of any creed who support nonviolent action to free unjustly incarcerated prisoners are expressly welcome.


Vilnius (Lithuania): Krzysztof Zanussi

Right: Polish film and theater director and longtime Sentsov supporter Krzysztof Zanussi holds a book of Oleg Sentsov at the book fair in Vilnius. Left: Alexander Krasovitsky, from the publishing house Folio.


Santa Cruz (Bolivia): PEN Santa Cruz

Vice President of PEN Santa Cruz Biyu Suárez published an article about the life and struggle of Oleg Sentsov in the local newspaper El Día, as well as on the website of PEN Santa Cruz. The case of Oleg Sentsov was also presented to all members of PEN Santa Cruz in a special meeting on March 1, 2018.


Minsk (Belarus): PEN Belarus

“The Tape of His Life”: a film screening and lecture. Read more »

 The event’s program included: screening of the Oleg’s last word in the court, lecture about the story of Oleg and other political prisoners from Crimea, screening of movie Gamer and discussion, and signing letters which will be later sent to Oleg to prison.


Sydney (Australia): Free World Association, Patriots of Ukraine Worldwide Movement

Ukrainians and friends in Sydney gathered at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church to support Oleg Sentsov. Tatiana Bonch, a writer and journalist from Crimea, spoke at the meeting. Members of the Tatar and Russian communities who support the return of Crimea to Ukraine were present.