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One of Ukraine's most prominent scholars, university professor Ihor Kozlovskyi, passed away overnight in Kyiv at age 69 following a heart attack, his family and friends said on Sept. 6.
Kozlovskyi, who came from Donetsk oblast, was a researcher, writer, and public intellectual in the field of theology and religious studies.
When Russia occupied the region and installed a proxy government in 2014, Kozlovskyi refused to leave his home, where he cared for his disabled son.
However, as a participant of the EuroMaidan protests in Donetsk and a public figure who refused to hide his Ukrainian identity, he became a target.
In 2016, the proxy authorities held him for 700 days at the Izoliatsiia prison camp for his pro-Ukrainian views. The prison, which is on the site of a former factory and then art center, is notorious for the use of torture and the horrendous conditions the prisoners are kept in.
Kozlovskyi was released in a prisoner swap on Dec. 27, 2017, following a public campaign.
Once free, Kozlovskyi continued his writing and research, and became an activist for the release of other prisoners in Russian-occupied territories.
His death came as unexpected to those who knew him, as the night before, he attended a film premiere in Kyiv.