On 19 March 2019, with the support of the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, screening of the documentary "Putin's Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin" took place at the European Parliament in Brussels. The films is dedicated to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and Ukrainian political prisoners who are illegally imprisoned by the Kremlin in Russia and temporarily occupied Crimea.
The event was co-organized with Ukrainian NGOs “Euromaidan Press” and “Media Initiative for human rights” and hosted by members of the European Parliament Mark Demesmaeker, Rebecca Harms and Jaromír Štětina.
The screening of the documentary was followed by a discussion with Igor Hryb (father of political prisoner Pavlo Hryb), Viktor Soroka (father of Ukrainian Navy sailor-prisoner Vasyl Soroka, who was illegally captured by Russia on 25 November 2018) and human rights activists Alya Shandra and Maria Tomak.
At the opening remarks Head of Ukraine’s Mission to the EU Mykola Tochytskyi underscored that there are more than 70 illegally detained by Russia Ukrainian political prisoners, 24 captured Ukrainian sailors, large-scale repressions in occupied Crimea and Kremlin’s ongoing political persecutions against Ukrainian citizens. We urge our partners to step political pressure and expand sanctions in order to release illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens and stop Russian aggression.
During the screening the MEPs noted: we have to speak about Ukraine and to urge for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners because Ukraine is defending not only itself, Ukraine is defending us and European countries.
Within the framework of the visit to Brussels Alya Shandra, Maria Tomak, Igor Hryb and Viktor Soroka also held meetings with representatives of the EU institutions, Member States, office of the Council of Europe, European Policy Centre and mass media.