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Poroshenko Awards Ukrainian Filmmaker, Activist Jailed In Russia

Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov (left) and fellow defendant Oleksandr Kolchenko attend a hearing at a court in the city of Rostov-on-Don on August 25.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has awarded medals to film director Oleh Sentsov and activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, two Ukrainians who were controversially imprisoned in Russia last month.

Poroshenko's office said on September 25 that Sentsov, 39, and Kolchenko, 25, had been given Ukraine's medal of the first degree for courage.

A Russian court sentenced Sentsov to 20 years and Kolchenko to 10 years in prison on August 25 after finding them guilty of creating a terrorist group and plotting attacks in the Crimean Peninsula.

Sentsov, a Crimean native who opposed Russia's March 2014 annexation of the peninsula, was arrested in May last year on suspicion of planning the fire-bombings of pro-Russian organizations in Crimea.

Sentsov and Kolchenko pleaded not guilty and said their trial was politically motivated.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Interfax