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.