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Senator Andreychuk marks Ukrainian Independence Day

Ottawa, Ontario - Senator Raynell Andreychuk today marked Ukrainian Independence Day by reiterating calls for Russia to release political prisoners and reinstate the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“Twenty-six years ago, the people of Ukraine declared their independence with parliament’s adoption of the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine,” noted Senator Andreychuk. “This occasion marks an opportunity to acknowledge the commitment of the Ukrainian people, and the support of the Ukrainian diaspora, in building a free and independent Ukraine.”  

“As we mark this occasion, we regrettably note the ongoing illegal actions of Russia in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula.”  Acknowledging the deteriorating human rights situation within these regions, Senator Andreychuk continued, “The arrest and detention of numerous political prisoners, including Oleg Sentsov and Ruslan Zeitullayev, illustrates a grave violation of personal freedoms as well as the ongoing persecution of Ukrainians and Ukrainian ethnic minorities by the Kremlin.”

Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and 2017 recipient of the PEN Freedom to Write Award, was detained in Crimea by Russian officials in May 2014 on unsubstantiated charges of terrorism.  He was sentenced to serve 20 years on August 25, 2015. Ruslan Zeitullayev, a member of the Turkic ethnic Crimean Tatars, was detained in Crimea under similar charges. On July 27, 2017, Mr. Zeitullayev was sentenced to 15 years and announced the beginning of his ongoing hunger strike.    

“Today we reaffirm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and call for the immediate release of all Ukrainians illegally detained by Russia.”


Zenia Turkewych Miner

613 996 4600

Office of the Honourable Raynell Andreychuk, Senator