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Media: Human Rights advocate turned soldier Butkevych sentenced to 13 years by Russian proxies in Donbas

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 10, 2023 12:25 PM 1 min read
Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk holds a Ukrainian flag with the name of Maksym Butkevych, a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist who is being held by Russia as a prisoner of war, during the 35th European Film Awards in Reykjavik on Dec. 10, 2022. (HALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Former Ukrainian journalist and human rights advocate Maksym Butkevych has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by Russian-led proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. According to international law, the so-called "prison sentence" by Russian-led militants has no legal grounds.

Butkevych enlisted in the Ukrainian military following Russia's full-scale invasion and was captured in Luhansk Oblast in June 2022.

According to a statement released by PEN America in July 2022 calling for his immediate release, Russians have "claimed that Butkevych is actually a fascist with strongly-held Nazi sympathies, as well as a punitive squad commander masquerading as an activist."

Before the full-scale invasion, Butkevych co-founded Hromadske radio, the ZMINA Human Rights Center, and the No Borders Project, the latter of which aids asylum-seekers.

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