The Ukrainian authorities granted a political refugee status to a 76-year-old oppositioal activist from Russia.
Vladimir Ionov who had been known for his individual pickets against the President Putin came to Ukraine to apply for a political asylum as in Russia he became a subject to criminal charges.
Ionov said to Hromadske Radio: "Firstly, I can move. I am, being a pensioner, eligible to pay no fares in the public transport. It is a big deal. Having a passport I can travel not only across Ukraine but outside its borders. I did not have a travel identity [in Russia] just because I had not been given one as I had travel ban and a criminal case."
Ionov gained some prominence for his strikes against the Russian authorities, against war with Ukraine. He also advocated for the Ukrainian political prisoners.
He used to come to the streets with the posters "Putin is a Rusisian's enemy," "Putin is present, intelligence is not essential."
In Russia the activist was criminally charged and faced imprisonment.
In December 2015 Ionov illegally crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border to apply for a political asylum.