Oleg Sentsov: biography, family, creativity, arrest and sentence


Oleg Sentsov is a popular Ukrainian film director, screenwriter and writer. The focus of the media and the public was in 2014, when he was arrested and charged with organizing terrorist acts. He received 20 years of a strict regime colony. Before the loud arrest and sentence was known in the film "Gamer".

Childhood and youth

Oleg Sentsov was born in 1976 in Simferopol. After school, he entered the Getman National Economic University, located in Kiev. He graduated in 1998.

Then he went to Moscow, where he studied the basics of cinema at the director's courses. Returning to his native Simferopol, he opened a computer club in his city, which was his first successful business project. In the future, the life of gamers formed the basis of his full-length film "Gamer".



For several years, the computer club was the main source of income for Oleg Sentsov. With the money he earned, he even managed to shoot his first picture.

On the film "Gamer" it took $ 20, 000, with all the actors playing for free. The tape was published in 2011. It tells about the life of a teenager from Simferopol, Alexei, who is passionate about computer games in specialized clubs. This passion becomes the main thing in his life, he does not notice her mother, who is worried about his studies, abandoned by her son, as well as the girl who is in love with him.

In his professional environment, he is considered one of the best, goes to a prestigious international tournament in Los Angeles, where he takes only second place. Returning to his native Simferopol, he in anger gets rid of everything that connected him with the world of computer games.

The film, directed by Oleg Sentsov, received positive reviews from critics; its premiere took place at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in Holland. At the "Spirit of Fire" festival in Khanty-Mansiysk, the ribbon was awarded the prize of the Guild of Film Critics and Film Critics.



Before his arrest in 2014, Oleg Sentsov had two more short films. These are "The Horn of the Bull" and "The Banana Fish Is Well Caught."

In 2013, it became known that he began work on his second full-length film entitled "Rhino". She was supposed to be devoted to the lives of children in the 90s. The director even managed to get financial assistance from the Ukrainian government, but the work was not completed. The crisis began in the country, a military conflict began in the southeast, and the Crimea peninsula was annexed to Russia. The director himself was in prison.

In the thick of things


The crisis in the Crimea provoked the Avtomaidan organization. As a not indifferent citizen of Ukraine, Sentsov was at the epicenter of the events. Some military units in the Crimea were blocked, the director made his way into them to convey humanitarian aid, was a member of the movement "For a United Ukraine".

In the spring of 2014, a photo of Oleg Sentsov appeared after his arrest by FSB officers. He was accused of terrorism. His defense was taken by lawyer Dmitry Dinze, who already specialized in such cases. Soon, new suspects appeared - Gennady Afanasyev, Alexey Chirniy, Alexander Kolchenko.

In May, a wave of public indignation arose over the arrest of Sentsov. He was demanded to be released by representatives of various public organizations in different countries, with the corresponding statement made even by the participants and organizers of the Cannes Film Festival.

The essence of the charges


According to investigators, Sentsov and his accomplices planned to carry out a terrorist act near the monument to Lenin, and also organized the arson of the building in which the office of the United Russia party was located in Crimea. He was also suspected of collaborating with the Ukrainian nationalist organization Right Sector, which is banned in Russia. Moreover, its leader, Dmitry Yarosh, denied this fact.

Over time, Sentsov had new attorneys. He himself complained that he was subjected to torture in detention, physical force was used against him. According to these facts, his new lawyer, Grozev, even appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. In October, a prisoner testified in detail about the bullying.

In 2014, many well-known filmmakers, such as Pedro Almodovar, turned to Vladimir Putin in an open letter demanding the release of Sentsov.

Soon the case of Sentsov and Kolchenko was merged. They were suspected of a number of terrorist attacks, which they were going to arrange under the leadership of Ukrainian nationalists. By that time, two other suspects agreed to cooperate with the investigation, they were sentenced. According to lawyers Kolchenko and Sentsov, the other suspects gave false testimony to alleviate their fate.



The sentence to Sentsov was passed in August 2015. He was sentenced to 20 years in a strict regime colony. Kolchenko, who also pleaded not guilty, received ten years in prison. According to the text of the indictment, the suspect was preparing to activate explosive devices on the night of May 9, 2014 near the monument to Lenin in Simferopol, as well as at the Eternal Flame. In addition, he was charged with arson of the office of United Russia and the public organization Russian community of Crimea, which were committed in April 2014. This is what Oleg Sentsov was convicted of.

The verdict was repeatedly appealed, but this led to nothing.

Condemned Oleg Sentsov was sent to a colony in Yakutia to serve his sentence. In October 2017, he was transferred to the town of Labytnangi in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, where the Polar Bear colony is located.

The Sentsov case is described in detail in the documentary film by Askold Kurov entitled “The Process”, which was shown at the Berlin Film Festival.

Hunger strike


Oleg Sentsov began a hunger strike on May 14, 2018, demanding the release of 64 political prisoners who are in Russian prisons. However, he did not include himself in this list. Two days later, this decision became known from his lawyer Dinze.

Sentsov had been preparing to go on a hunger strike for a month and a half. He refused food products from relatives and supporters, consumed the minimum amount of food so that the transition to a complete rejection of food was not so much stress for the body.

After the start of the hunger strike, he was transferred to an isolated cell, where his health was monitored by a medical professional. At the same time, Sentsov agreed in writing to take a therapeutic nutrient mixture, as well as drugs that improve the performance of his nervous and cardiovascular systems.

In early August, it became known that his condition had deteriorated significantly, the director’s lawyers reported. Dinze reported that his pulse dropped to 40 beats per minute, hemoglobin dropped sharply, and anemia appeared. At the same time Sentsov refuses to go to the hospital, claiming that conditions there will be even worse. At the same time, representatives of the Federal Penitentiary Service reported that there was no deterioration in his state of health, and there is no need for urgent hospitalization.

Personal life


Sentsov had a wife, Alla, with whom they had two children. This is son Vladislav and daughter Alina. In 2016, the director's wife announced her desire to formalize a divorce, while her husband was under arrest.

To journalists, she argued her decision by the impossibility of improving the financial situation of the family in such status. For example, she cannot buy housing. The family of the prisoner was left without support, moreover, Alla could not work due to life circumstances.

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