Volodymyr Balukh, a Crimean resident who was released as part of a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, has said that he refused to apply for clemency and that he was tortured at a penal colony in Russia. Balukh said this at a press conference, the Ukrainian News Agency reports. Balukh said that he was transferred from a prison in Torzhok (Tver region of Russia) to a pre-trial detention center in Moscow in August. According to Balukh, a Russian law enforcement officer at the pre-trial detention center demanded that he write to the Russian Federation’s President Vladimir Putin to request a pardon and threatened to send him back to the penal colony immediately if he did not write the letter. “I rejected his offer,” he said. Balukh also said that he was tortured in the penal colony in Torzhok. In particular, he said that he was beaten, his head was covered with a wet pillowcase, and an electric shocker was inserted into his anus. Balukh also said that the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) did not try to recruit him when he was in custody. As Ukrainian News Agency reported earlier, Ukraine and Russia exchanged prisoners on September 7, with each country freeing 35 prisoners. Balukh, who was detained in the Russian-annexed Crimea in 2016, was one of the prisoners freed by Russia.